I’m so excited to include this post about the popular Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris, France to our collection of awesome bookstores around the world. This is a guest post from Our Escape Clause. Take a look.
Nestled in a small courtyard next to the Seine, Shakespeare & Company is easily the most famous English-language bookstore in Paris.
Once the haunt of Lost Generation writers like Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the bookstore closed during the Nazi occupation of Paris before reopening in 1951 with new management, but with the same desire to nurture those with a love of books.
In its new location that we all know and love today, writers like Langston Hughes and Ray Bradbury became regulars, and yet as the store has grown in fame over the decades it has maintained a delightfully whimsical and down-to-earth interior.
A visit today will take you to a store that still hosts writers for speaking engagements and workshops, that boasts a stunning view of Notre Dame from its second-floor window, and that includes a cafe by the same name next door that serves excellent coffee and tantalizing scones.
Kids will love the maze-like feel of the crowded bookshelves, small nooks, and colorful decor, and there is an entire children’s section in the back of the store, as well as a young-adult section for preteens and up.
Adults and older children will love the second floor, which acts as a library-slash-reading-room–nothing is for sale up there–and visiting with Aggie, the resident cat.
If your little ones get their fill of being inside, there’s a small park located right next door that is perfect for some running around after quietly looking at books.
While photos are forbidden inside the store, the courtyard out front is perfect for snapping plenty, and usually has displays of books set up as well (like many things in Paris, it’s weather-dependent.
If you choose to buy a book, Shakespeare & Company will stamp the title page with their seal, making it an excellent souvenir of Paris that you’re bound to cherish.
Shakespeare & Company is open daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, making it easy to work into any Paris itinerary.
Kate Storm: Kate has spent more than 3 years traveling the world full-time and documenting it all on her blog, Our Escape Clause. When she’s not writing, you can normally find her on a hike somewhere gorgeous, swimming in a beautiful sea, wandering around a city, reading a great book, or planning one of the next thousand trips she plans to take. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Thank you so much for your insight into Shakespeare and Co. This is definitely a bucket list-worthy bookstore!
Shakespeare & Co details
- Shakespeare & Co Website | Side note: If you can’t make it to Paris to visit them, visit their website. More than any other bookstore’s website, they have one that makes you feel like you’re somewhere special. They have staff recommendations, rare finds, information about bookstore events, and a podcast. They also customize their online book orders. Get your book through them and “Each online purchase is prepared by-hand and in-house here in Paris. We offer a variety of Customized options, from stamping the title page with the bookshop’s hallmark to tucking a pocket-sized poem into the book’s pages.”
- Those customized options? A spray of perfume, a poem typed in-house on a vintage typewriter, a piece of paper from some of the papers left behind from previous bookstore visitors. Definitely worth a purchase from this bookstore for a special person.
- Address: 7 rue de la Bûcherie, 5th Arrondissement, opposite Notre-Dame on the Left Bank
- Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Do you want to join other like-minded families who are interested in learning about other cultures via books and travel? Join our Facebook Group. I approve new members daily. It’s still small but growing.