Nothing beats lying on the beach or next to the pool under the baking sun while getting lost in a good story. A holiday read is as essential an item as your sun cream for the beach, but what if you forgot to bring your book with you? Simply go to one of our takes on the best bookstores in Rio de Janeiro, which also make great rainy-day hangouts.
Livraria Saraiva is a chain of book megastores that have great success throughout Brazil. Saraiva aims to provide a comprehensive collection of book genres in several languages, with all the latest releases in stock. Its short ceilings and tables dotted throughout the stores with books piled on make everything feel instantly accessible, and it’s the perfect spot to pop in, find the book you want and then head to the beach. There is also a coffee shop inside to enjoy a coffee while reading your new purchase.
This chain of bookstores can be found in several cities throughout Brazil, and in Rio de Janeiro the largest store of Livraria Cultura is in the city center. With high ceilings stacked with books from every genre and several languages, all perfectly categorized for easy access and filing, it is a book lover’s dream. Livraria Cultura is spread out over three floors, and as well as books it has a music section and a café with good coffee and light lunches. One of the best things about this bookstore is the randomly scattered bean bags and comfy chairs that are there especially for you to pick up a book, take a seat and leaf through the new book pages.
Livraria da Travessa is a chain with a huge collection of Brazilian books, imported books, audiobooks, e-books, music and DVDs. The stores have a cozy feel, with dark wooden details that give you the urge to find a book and settle down in a corner to read. The stores are compact and offer a wide range of different genres, as well as books in several different languages. The Travessas also all have cafés where you can enjoy a good coffee and hearty lunches of salads, pastas and generously filled sandwiches. The atmosphere inside is quiet and peaceful, offering a relaxed environment to spend a few hours reading on a rainy day.
Blooks is the perfect bookstore for those looking for a niche or detailed book about any kind of art. While the store stocks several genres, art is definitely the focus here, so for those wanting to know what’s new in the art and design scene, then this is the place to go. There are spaces inside that allow for meetups and places to chat and swap ideas, creating a relaxed and informal setting. Located in Praia de Botafogo, a commercial area in the south zone of Rio, it is common to see informal business meetings going on in these meetup spaces, and settling down to read for a while is heartily encouraged.
This bookstore brings immense pride to the residents in Rio de Janeiro, being one of the oldest bookstores in the city. It was closed for some time as it underwent refurbishment, but it has recently reopened with all of its old charm and a brand new café. Livraria Leonardo da Vinci is mostly dedicated to books within the genres of social and human sciences and arts, yet it still stocks various genres. There are also sporadic events held at the bookstore, such as debates and wine tasting sessions, which can be found on their Facebook page.By Sarah Brown