Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, Paris

4.4
#5 of 413 in Shopping in Paris
Gift & Specialty Shop · Hidden Gem · Library
A haven for bibliophiles, Shakespeare and Company Bookstore presents an English-language collection of eclectic secondhand books, as well as Sunday tea, literary readings, and writers' meetings. Sylvia Beach Whitman, the original owner's daughter, now runs the bookshop her father, George, started as "Le Mistral" in 1951. He later renamed the store to honor the original shop owned by Sylvia Beach from 1919 to 1940. The shop became (and still is) a haven for an unconventional literary culture, and was frequented by Beat writers, including Allen Ginsberg. Filled from floor to ceiling with titles, each small room has walls peppered with quotes and postcards. Upstairs, you'll find a writer's area with a typewriter, a labyrinth of rooms, and a piano. For the price of your life story written on a sheet of paper, you can sleep upstairs in one of the 13 beds run by the bookshop, called "Hotel Tumbleweed." To visit Shakespeare and Company Bookstore on your holiday in Paris, and find out what else Paris has to offer, use our Paris.
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Shakespeare and Company Bookstore reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
3,923 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Visited for a coffee and cake - both were very nice but the outside furniture leaves a lot to be desired - very shabby but not chic ! ! - tables and chairs were rickety - slightest touch and drinks...  more »
  • It is what a great bookstore ought to be. This English language bookstore which lies on the left bank on the seine river and opposite Notre Dame is stepped in great history. Founded in 1951 by an...  more »
  • A wonderful English language bookstore in Paris. Very old, very crowded (people and books) with an ambiance that takes one back in history. Great service and reasonable prices. A don't miss when...  more »
Google
  • The history of this place already tells the love of books and power of mind, you will surely feel something different from the outside world when you are inside this not so big but such compacted space, compacted with the books of course but also the light of human mind. If you haven't fully enjoyed after visiting the bookstore, they have a small bar right next to it where you can have a simple meal and a nice cool lemonade. You can also find a book or two to read from their reading corner if you wish to extend your staying, it's surely cozy to do so.
  • Always worth a visit if you're in Paris. Amazing range of books, mostly English language. Worth keeping an eye out for, free, author events, usually evenings. Great cafe next door which is pretty reasonably priced for the area
  • This shop is excellent. A must visit for anyone from the UK. Wonderful books of all subjects & books that you purchase are stamped inside to show where the book was bought. A really great shop & the staff are great too.
  • A little full at the time I was there, but has a large amount of different books, reading areas and a really nice historic feel (especially upstairs). The cafe next door is cute, has vegan/vegetarian options. Service might take a bit, so don't go when in a hurry.
  • A great spot to spend some time in while visiting Paris! The cafe next door was great, too. Only thing to note is that the bookstore was pretty packed when I visited right after lunch time, and there's limited walking space so getting from section to section in the shop was a little tricky.

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