With books and comics drumming up big business on both the small and silver screens, it’s no surprise that Hollywood execs find themselves spending a lot of time in bookstores. And when those bookstores find their way onto celluloid? Pure bibliophile perfection.
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12. No need to fear in Vertigo‘s classic bookshop
Even the boys (formerly) in blue need a hand, now and then. Retired policeman John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart) is brought back into the game when he is hired as a private detective, tasked with following his client’s wife, whose strange behaviour has not gone unnoticed. In the course of his investigation, he is referred to the Argosy Book Shop, where the proprietor is known for his mastery of California history, and is able to provide Ferguson with intel that shines light on the case. Just another friendly neighbourhood bookseller saving the day.
Notable for: non-book inventory, table display mastery, insider info
Want to go to there?: The Argosy lives! While much of Vertigo was shot on-location in San Francisco, the bookstore was filmed on the Paramount lot in Hollywood. You can, however, seek out the shop it was based on, San Francisco’s Argonaut Book Shop. The antiquarian and second-hand shop specializes in American history & geography (with a delightful interest in “railroadiana”). Or: shop online!
Here’s a link to Vertigo
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6. Antiquarian’s never been better than at 84 Charing Cross Road
Based on a play that itself is based on a memoir documenting a 20-year correspondence between writer Helene Hanff and the staff of Marks & Co. antiquarian booksellers, located at 84 Charing Cross Road in London, movies can’t get more bookish than this* real-life story of an enduring love… for books. Come for the transatlantic pen pal letters and capitalistic exchange, stay for the wartime intrigue and bookstore fly-on-the-wall gossip!
Notable for: stiff English upper lips, casual Yankee spitfires, excellent penmanship
Want to go to there?: Though Marks & Co. closed up shop in 1970, shortly after the death of primary Hanff correspondent Frank Doel, there are many opportunities for a touring booklover to revisit its history. After its closure, neighbouring address 24 Cambridge Circus was expanded into the storefront Marks & Co. initially occupied, and the London theatre-district address has since played host to a revolving set of restaurants and bars over the years, currently Léon de Bruxelles. Present-day visitors to the site are treated to a memorial plaque honouring the shop, but literary travelers may want to may homage to the indie bookselling spirit of the neighbourhood by visiting nearby bookseller Book Ends, which once occupied nerby storefronts on Charing Cross Road and is currently a quick 15-minute tube ride from 24 Cambridge Circus.
Here’s a link to 84 Charing Cross Road
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3. Gilmore Girls‘ Stars Hollow Books
Ah, Stars Hollow Books, the small-town bookshop where Rory Gilmore held a brief part-time job. The importance of this brief period of employment cannot be understated: this fictional bookshop was frequented by one of the most prolific readers ever to appear on television. Rory Gilmore racked up an astonishing 339 titles on her reading list over the duration of the series. Daria’s got nothing on you, girl.
Here’s a link to Gilmore Girls
Link to the rest at BuzzFeed