Literary Tourism : Favorite bookshops in Paris

I’ve been living in Paris for the last 3 years and though I won’t pretend to know the city like the back of my hand, I’ve made some discoveries over the years, especially in terms of restaurants or any place you can get really good food. But, this is not a Foodie blog, we’re here to talk about books, we figuratively eat books. Luckily, there are some pretty good bookstores here too.

So, here are some of my favorite finds over the years!

SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY

..

This bookshop is probably one of the most famous in Paris. If you’re looking for a book in English, this should be your first stop. It has a very large collection, from historical and biographies to photography books, from Fantasy to Sci-Fi to Contemporary, YA to Adult, you won’t be able to know where to look. The shop is all old dark-ish wood, the shelves take all the length of the walls with ladders like in every bookworm’s wet dreams. There’s also a room upstairs where you can sit down to read a book. The staff is usually composed of foreigners, since the book shop offers free lodging in exchange of work, and they’re more than happy to help you find the right book.

Where : 37, rue de la Bûcherie, 75005

.

JOUSSEAUME – GALERIE VIVIENNE

This is one of the bookshop that stuck with me from the very first look, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I discovered it quite by accident, I was supposed to be visiting a place nearby with my classmates but we were early so we roamed around. It also took me forever after to find that shop again, since I hadn’t paid attention to its name. It looks like a shop straight out of Diagon Alley, with its antique façade and its golden letterings. They sell really old books but recent ones too, and you can even buy used books with their cracked spines and yellow pages.

Where : 45-46-47, Galerie Vivienne, 75002

.

THE ABBEY BOOKSHOP

Another gorgeous one that you have to see with your own eyes. It’s a Canadian bookshop and another place in Paris where you’ll find books in English. Like all the good libraries, it looks chaotic on the inside, but that’s also what makes you want to stay more. You can get really cheap deals, because it also sells used books and questions are always welcomed with enthusiasm.

Where : 29, rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005

.

L’ECUME DES PAGES

It’s probably one of the most beloved bookshops in Paris. It’s also known for being open all the time, even on Sundays. It doesn’t have the cozy look of most of the others on my list, but you find a very diverse collection, from French to foreign literature, books about the Arts … There’s definitely something there you’ll find to your tastes.

Where : 174, boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006

.

GALIGNANI

To be honest, I don’t often venture around the Rue de Rivoli. Most of the people there are tourists and the ones that aren’t are so obviously from the rich, bourgeois part of the Parisian population that it’s basically enough to make you barf. It’s also not the cheapest bookshop on my list, but it looks really pretty and huge inside. There’s also that really awesome second floor and you can find books in English, so it sort of balances things out.

Where : 224, rue de Rivoli, 75001

.

GIBERT JOSEPH

This one looks less like an independent bookshop, because it isn’t. Unlike the other bookshops, you can find a Gibert Joseph in different locations in Paris. But, it’s in my list because it’s usually considered the kingdom of cheap books. They have a collection of recent, brand new books, but the reason it’s so famous is because if you want to free some space in your apartment, you can sell them your used books, and they resell them for a few euros. It’s the perfect place to make some interesting finds.

Where : 26, boulevard Saint-Michel

.

LIBRAIRIE ULYSSE

This is not a place where you’ll find the latest John Green, but it’s a wonderful place. This is a bookshop specialized in travel: guides, maps and even travel stories (books written by Europeans after they set foot in the New World …). The shop owner is an enthusiastic woman who’s always willing to give the best advice for any trip you might be planning. A great traveller herself, she shares her anecdotes and knows the best places outside the usual tourist routes.

Where : 26, rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile, 75004
Don’t confuse the Ile Saint-Louis and the Ile de la Cité (where Notre-Dame is), they’re not the same !

.

SIDENOTE: Pictures are not mine because I’m crap at taking pictures. If you’ve seen my post on the Salon du Livre 2016, then you know it’s true.

.

That’s it, folks ! If you ever come around Paris, I hope you’ll get a chance to check them out. Do you have any favorite bookshops in your city ? Let’s share !
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s