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Shakespeare & Company, Paris

(2,800+ reviews on the web)
Tourist Spot
A haven for bibliophiles, Shakespeare & Company 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." Using our online itinerary creator, Paris attractions like Shakespeare & Company can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This historic bookshop is the perfect place for booklovers, their choice of books is amazing and the people who work there are incredibly helpful.  more »
  • Across the Seine from Notre Dame Cathedral, this bookstore is an English language bibliophile's dream. At Point Zero, in the Latin Quarter, it comes with ample history, like making it through the Nazi...  more »
  • Actually, it might be British, but It's definitely English language! Charming and unchanged for decades, crowded, shelves full of books of all sorts, friendly staff - it's a comforting place to visit,...  more »
Google
  • There's something truly magical and captivating about this store that Barnes & Noble definitely lacks. I took my family here one evening during our stay in Paris and literally everyone found themselves reading a book in one of the many nooks in the store. (Personally, I spent 20 minutes with Aggie, the store's resident cat, who opted to curl up on my chest, purring contentedly.) After leaving the store, nearly everyone couldn't put down the books they purchased from the store during the rest of our travels which for me was amazing to see and forced me to bring them back to the store so they could spend more time there. Definitely worth a visit if you're in Paris.
  • Best place for English written books. The staff is very friendly, some don't speak French very well, but all speak perfect English. The variety of books is great, the ambient is superb! Try to find the cat, she usually hangs out on the upper floor, there is also a great chair by a typing machine, check the photo!
  • A wonderful place for any book-lover, a must stop! They sell both new and used books (door to door locals), and even opened a small café on the corner. A perfect plan: go buy a book and sit on their little terrace with a yummy piece of cake reading! ❤
  • This is my favourite bookshop in Paris. The location is to die for, and the history is incredible. The shop is eclectic, and certainly crams a lot into it's narrow aisles. My favourite part is the reading room upstairs - this is one of my favourite places in the whole of Paris. Lots of books - old, new, bizarre, rare. Prices are good, and there are treasures. It is always busy, and sometimes there is a queue to get in as the corridors are so tiny. I love it!
  • The place is miniscule but packed with books. You can find interesting editions of books it would otherwise be very hard to come across. Upstairs the atmosphere is taken to a whole other level, there's a reading space and a piano that you can play at will. You absolutely need to make space in your schedule for this.