© Nitsche Arquitetos / Photography: Pedro Mascaro

Not every sprawling megalopolis is interesting to explore, but São Paulo certainly is. Home to over 23 million inhabitants, it’s by far Brazil‘s biggest city and leading economic powerhouse, but also a major cultural hub whose influence stretches across the country and even the entire continent. Rich in history, also thanks to a hugely diverse population which has its roots in almost every country on the planet, São Paulo offers a layered experience on every level of interest. And yes, that includes quirky book shops. The Desculpe a Poeira store – mind you, the name is taken from the epitaph that American writer and socialite Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) had come up with for herself, meaning ‘Sorry for the dust’ in plain English – first opened its doors in 2014. Founded by Ricardo Lombardi, a former journalist at various publications and former editor-in-chief at popular Brazilian arts and culture monthly BRAVO!, which ran from 1997 to 2014, the bookstore is a quirky venture as it’s housed in the garage of his mother’s home in the city’s leafy Pinheiros neighbourhood.

Interestingly, it stocks a collection of over 4,000 books and rare magazines, but also lots of vinyl and CDs which all used to be part of Lombardi’s private collection. As of late, the compact 18 sqm. (194 sq.ft.) bookstore sees a redesigned interior by local practice Nitsche Arquitetos. The objective of the redevelopment was to create more space, and this has been done by optimising the circulation around the central bookcase. The place has the same inner volume as a container, that’s 50 m³ (13, 209 gallons), alongside an area of 18,6 sqm. (200 sq.ft.), and a ceiling height of 2,72 metres (8,92 feet). The revamp has resulted in book storage, now adorned with LED lighting and galvanised metal finish, that has dramatically increased along the walls. There are fixed positions for furniture and there’s even room for a working table at the back of the store, directly opposite the entrance. Additionally, Desculpe a Poeira now features an entrance with an iron frame door, emulating the traditional façades of many of the city’s commercial buildings.

Desculpe a Poeira
Rua Sebastião Velho 28A (Pinheiros)
05418-040 São Paulo
Tue-Fri 12pm-8pm
Sat 11am-6pm

© Nitsche Arquitetos / Photography: Pedro Mascaro