For this week’s Bookshelf of the Week I thought I’d get all Latin American with this breathtaking shot taken by Dave aka ‘longhorndave’, of the equally breathtaking El Ateneo bookstore in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
OK, so I know on first sight El Ateneo looks more like a theatre than a bookstore, but that’s because when the building was originally constructed in 1919, it was a theatre, designed by the architects Peró and Torres Armengol for the impresario Max Glücksman, and appropriately named, Teatro Gran Splendid. And a theatre it stayed throughout the 1920s, until in 1929 it was converted into a cinema. It’s final incantation into bookstore (as it is now) came finally in 2000 when the cinema seating was swapped out for bookshelves.
Now although this shot from Dave is, as I said, quite breathtaking, it doesn’t really offer a full scope on how incredibly vast and impressive this bookstore really is. So I invite you to take a look at this feature on the bookstore on the Argentina’s Travel Guide website, and at this image taken from a different angle and posted by Josefina Mars on Flickr. Thirsty for more? Much more?? OK then, check out this video tour of El Ateneo on YouTube which comes with commentary, and musical accompaniment from Puccini. Mmmm..bliss!!
Once you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor dear reader, you can let me know what you think of the El Ateneo bookstore, especially if you’ve had the enviable pleasure of visiting it. My thanks to Dave for sharing such a wonderful shot.