The Guinness Book of World Records indicates in its website that the largest individual bookstore in the world measured by square footage is the Barnes & Noble Bookstore. The 154,250-square foot building can be found on Fifth Ave at 18th Street, New York City. It has 12. 87 miles of shelving.
However, it was closed to customers in 2014. And yet it retains its world record.
If there’s one bookstore that deserves to get the title, it is the Tehran Book Garden found in the Iran capital. It was officially opened in July 2017, with construction completed in 2016.
The bookstore is located in the Abbasabad hills in the northeast of Tehran. It hosts bookshops, an art gallery, and 10 theaters and amphitheaters in its 110,000 square-meter site. The library is home for the Sacred Defence Garden Museum and the National Library and Archives of Iran, with a green park area for reading in the roof of the complex.
Photo via Real Iran.org
3D render via Archinect
Considering only the bookstores, galleries, and theaters, it covers 65,000 square meters.
Moreover, it features a section for children and young adults who want to read literature, as well as experience activities which encourage reading. Newsweek noted that there are more than 400,000 title available for children in this library, with some shelves made to be shorter so the youth can reach the books better.
Photos via Mehr News Agency
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that the center aims to encourage Iranian children to be “active and creative through modern methods and equipment.”
What’s more interesting about this library is that in Iran, literary censorship is an official government policy. It is important to note that in the country, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, James Joyce’s Ulysses and Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring are banned.
Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibar in the opening of the library described it as “a big cultural event in the country so that our children can make better use of this cultural and academic opportunity.”
Building the Book Garden was first realized in 2004 to provide a place for the goers of the annual International Book Fair which are usually packed.