Popular Victoria shop makes list of top 10 bookstores on the planet

By The Canadian Press
March 24, 2016 - 11:45am

VICTORIA — When it comes to world-class bookstores, a top 10 list from National Geographic speaks volumes, and that list now includes a literary treasure in Victoria.

Munro’s Books, in Victoria’s Old Town, ranks third on National Geographic’s list of the globe’s most interesting book stores.

“We’re so lucky in Victoria that we have so many visitors,” said Jessica Walker, managing partner for Munro’s Books.

“I know we are on international radar.”

The list is from the latest edition of the National Geographic book “Destinations of a Lifetime” and noted the store was founded in 1963 by Alice and Jim Munro, 50 years before Alice Munro won the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature.

The shop, in a heritage bank building, was also described as “magnificent,” and “neoclassical.”

Walker agreed the store is a lovely place to browse. She said a big part of the store’s appeal is the stateliness of the former Royal Bank of Canada building, Munro’s third home, following a move in 1984.

Atlantis Books in Santorini, Greece topped the list, followed by Cafebreria el Pendulo in Mexico City.

Munro’s Books was the sole Canadian entry, in front of El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, and then the other two North American nods, Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon and Prairie Lights of Iowa City, Iowa. 

Shakespeare and Company, the Parisian bookstore that attracted such notable writers as Henry Miller and Allen Ginsberg, ranked seventh, while stores in Sydney, Australia, Nanjing, China and Brussels rounded out the top 10. (CFAX)

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