Shakespeare & Company Bookstore–Things to do in Paris

Shakespeare & Company Bookstore–Things to do in Paris

Shakespeare & Company Bookstore:

37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris; +33 1 43 25 40 93;

Hours: Daily: 10 AM—11 PM

Anglophone bibliophiles, you must visit this charming bookstore shelved top to bottom with hundreds of books in each room! Not a big space by any means, the bookstore is delectably arranged and decorated with a hint of organized chaos, and if it weren’t for my husband waiting around for me, I could have spent hours there.

Founded in 1951 by an American named George Whitman and now run by his daughter, Sylvia, Shakespeare and Company sells books of all genres in English. According to the website, Geroge Whitman changed the name of the bookstore from Le Mistral to Shakespeare and Company in 1964 to honor Sylvia Beach, the bookseller who had opened the original Shakespeare and Company in Paris in 1919. Just as the original Shakespeare and Co. was a meeting place and an institute for many ex-pat writers in the past (James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck to name a few), the current Shakespeare and Co. has become an institute for modern ex-pat writers. Since its opening, Whitman has welcomed writers and artists to sleep in the bookstore for an exchange of manning the front desk for a few hours and reading a book daily, and writing a one-page autobiography. The Whitman family has been supporting budding writers and holding free events for the community as well. Read more about the history of the bookstore and the thousands of writers and artists who have come through the bookstore on its website here.

Tip: There is a little nook on the second floor where people can leave a note for someone on the wall. Reading those notes felt a bit like peeking into someone’s diary or a private letter intended for someone else, which is always intriguing. 😉 You may be moved to write a note or two like I was!

Click on the gallery below for more pictures of Shakespeare and Company Bookstore!

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