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.
Livraria Cultura, Avenida Paulista 2073, Consolação, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3170 4033
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.
Livraria Novesete, Rua França Pinto 97, Vila Mariana, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 5573 7889
The French bookstore chain revolutionized the bookstore culture in Brazil when it landed in São Paulo in 1998. It made going to a bookstore a cultural event and made the stores a meeting place for debates and readings. Although in late February the mega chain, with 12 stores in Brazil, denied rumors that it was leaving the country, instead looking for investors to expand its business. FNAC continues to be one of the places around São Paulo where one can find the most recent releases in their original languages, classics, as well as imported CDs and DVDs. Its Pinheiros store displays graffiti by famous Brazilian artist Kobra.
FNAC, Praça dos Omaguás 34, Pinheiros, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3579 2000
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.
Blooks, Rua Frei Caneca 569, 3º floor, Consolação, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 3259 2291
Livraria da Vila
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.
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.
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.
Martins Fortes, Avenida Paulista 509, Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil, +55 11 2167 9900