The Top Bookstores in São Paulo

Books | ©Sela Yair/Flickr
Lise Alves

Known as one of the cultural hubs of Brazil, São Paulo does not only offer many choices for movie buffs, theater enthusiasts and music lovers, but also a wide array of bookstores for the avid reader. From the mega bookstore chains to the small, charming, neighborhood bookstores, São Paulo has something for everyone. Not only do the bookstores in the city sell hardcovers and paperbacks, but they are also a meeting place for culture lovers, with debates, musical presentations, and book readings. Here is a list of some of the most interesting places to go and let your imagination run wild.

1. Livraria Cultura

Bookstore, Shop, Store

Livraria Cultura
© Joana Rangel/Flickr
One of the most famous bookstore chains in São Paulo, Livraria Cultura has stores in many shopping centers across the city, but one of the most charming is located in Avenida Paulista’s Conjunto Nacional. The bookstore – set up in what was once one of the city’s most famous movie theaters, Cine Astor – took advantage of the sloped floor to place large bean bags and wooden planks for customers to sit and look over books. The wooden dragon hanging from the ceiling attracts children and adults alike.

2. Novesete

Bookstore, Store

Livraria Novesete
© Adriana Valentin
Geared towards promoting a love of reading for children, the Novosete bookstore has more than 8,000 titles to enchant young readers. From the first reading books to a vast teens’ reading section, the store caters to all ages, including adults with its culinary sector. There is also a café within the store where parents can enjoy a beverage and pastries while the kids watch theater plays and participate in workshops and story reading sessions.

3. Blooks

Bookstore, Store, Shop

In addition to books about theater, movies and arts, the Blooks bookstore’s São Paulo branch also has an entire section dedicated to LGBT literature. The store on weekends and weeknights has an extensive program of musical attractions and book readings.

4. Livraria da Vila

Bookstore, Shop, Store

Livraria da Vila
© Lindolfo Rodrigues/Flickr
What started out as a small single bookstore with artsy and cultural books became a favorite of São Paulo residents and expanded into 10 bookstores across town. Livraria da Vila not only sells books, CDs and DVDs, but holds cultural debates, children’s reading sessions and promotes the Reading Nourishes project, accepting donations of used books, which will be included in food baskets delivered to low income families around the country.

5. Livraria Zaccara

Bookstore, Store

Livraria Zaccara
© Zaccara
This small independent bookstore will tug at the heartstrings of the true book lover with its collection, carefully chosen by the two people who work at the store, the owners. One feels almost at home in the tiny courtyard, where you are invited to sit and read a good book. The second story of the small townhouse is used for workshops, musical performances and debates. In addition to the books, the store also has a small café, with an excellent chocolate cake.

6. Martins Fortes

Bookstore, Store

Livraria Martins Fortes SP
© Martins Fortes
Created in 1960, Martins Fortes today has four stores in the city and is one of the oldest bookstore chains in the country. Its Avenida Paulista branch also has a theater space where Brazilian and foreign adapted plays attract several hundred people each weekend.

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