Not long ago, I posted a piece on the disappearance of large bookstores, and the influence of the Internet and of electronic devices on bookstores' demise. It heartens me to report that there remain a number of world-class stores which continue to uphold their tradition as "community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once." Herewith are The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in The World. Their aesthetics range from the Baroque to the offbeat post-modern. I think my favorites are (in their order in the list) ~
~ #1 ~ Selexyz Bookstore in Maastricht, Holland, a converted Dominican church.
~ #4 ~ Livraria Letto in Porto, Portugal, with its exquisite art nouveau stairway to heaven.
~ #7 ~ Libraria El Ateneo Grand Splendid, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
~ #11 ~ Shakespeare & Company in Paris, France, a maze of booklined passageways and cozy reading nooks.
Of equal interest, in a more whimsical vein, check out both pages of 14 Realities of Relationships in Chart Form. It's all in good fun, with just enough ironic truth to add a little bite. I especially enjoyed ~
~ #10 ~ cross-referencing how often you talk about sex with how often you have sex.
~ #9 ~ interpreting the possible range of hookups between men and women, with each gender broken down on a scale of 1 (toad) to 10 (sex god/goddess).
~ #6 ~ a pie chart of actual behavior during the time spent in the shower with your partner.
Finally, below you will find a pictorial chart with images of movie characters who personify the values cross-referencing of "lawful-neutral-chaotic" on the horizontal axis, and "good-neutral-evil" on the vertical axis. You'll need to click on the image to enlarge, and even then the small print (a line of dialog which illustrates each pairing of qualities) will be hard to make out. I've added those lines of dialog below the chart.
Lawful Good ~ Superman (Superman). "I'm here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way."
Neutral Good ~ Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Serenity). "If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed."
Chaotic Good ~ Guy Fawkes (V For Vendetta). "Governments should be afraid of their people."
Lawful Neutral ~ Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation). "The Prime Directive prohibits me from helping you."
True Neutral ~ Treebeard (The Lord of the Rings). "Side? I'm on nobody's side, because nobody is on my side."
Chaotic Neutral ~ Captain Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean). "A dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you have to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly .... stupid."
Lawful Evil ~ Darth Vader (Star Wars). "With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy."
Neutral Evil ~ extraterrestrial predator (Alien). "The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor .... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."
Chaotic Evil ~ The Joker (Batman). "Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."