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Heavenly bookstore

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Compact discs may be disappearing in favor of downloads, but it looks like books are here to stay. Since no-one has really found a hi-tech replacement for the paperback, booksellers may well have had a stay of execution. I've always loved browsing through bookstores, and if I lived in the Netherlands I'd move into this one, the Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht.

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Built inside the 12th-century Domincanenkerk in the city center, it's the best kind of religious conversion. Modern technology meets ancient artistry. In its center are multiple layers of shelving on a huge steel structure, which offer great views of the church. There's even a coffee shop, located under newly-restored ceiling frescoes. Apparently, until this latest makeover, the Domincanenkerk used to be used as a bike shelter – so this is a considerable improvement in status.

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Designed by Amsterdam architects Merkx and Girod, it won the Lensvelt de Architect Interior Prize 2007. There must be something in the air in Maastricht, which also boasts a stunning hotel converted from a monastery, the Kruisheren. RM

Dominican library.......................(2887.jpg)

Images: Selexyz, Roos Aldershoff

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  • megan

    May 30, 2008

    kindle will never replace bookstores for me! i love wandering through them, browsing the books, picking stuff out…yes I do judge books by their covers!

  • Roshan

    May 30, 2008

    Click on the links in the text – you’ll find the Amazon Kindle in there, as well as another device by Sony. They do look really cool, and it would be great to save paper – but books seem to be taking longer than music has to convert to digital. Perhaps it’s because reading has always been a more tactile pastime than listening? What do you think?

  • Heather

    May 30, 2008

    Wow, this place is beautiful, would love to go there! But as for no hi tech replacement for the paperback, you should check out amazon’s kindle… it is a wireless reading device. My husband LOVES his!

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