The story

One was a theater, another, a church, and at varying times over the past century all have provided inspiration and refuge to both great literary minds and harried shoppers.

CNN has compiled a list of some of the world's oldest, most beautiful and most intriguing book stores.

We start in the Netherlands, where the cavernous proportions of a 13th century church have been turned into a stunning, modern book shop. The Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht opened in late 2006 after architects were set loose on the abandoned church, which in recent times had been used as nothing more than a storage lot for bikes. It's now crammed with three story high black steel bookcases that give customers a closer look at the detail on its painted ceiling. Selexyz Dominicanen Dominikanerkerkstraat 1 6211 cz Maastricht Read full article »