January 26, 2012

My Favorite Book Shop in Paris

Shakespeare and Company is one of my favorite hidden treasures in Paris.


It's hidden in the Latin Quarter of Paris. It's a true paradise for a true book lover, or as I call that person - a book worm...

Yes, I'm a book worm, and I'm proud to say so. I find book stores anywhere I live. You can spot me at Barnes and Noble and The Strand Bookstore in New York City very often, and I also like the small shops, like Kramers Bookstore and Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, where in September 2010 I interviewed Gary Shteyngart about his book "Super Sad True Love", the signed copy of which is gracing my book shelf now...

This Shakespeare and Company bookstore looks as someone's old rusty apartment, it even looks like one's home inside, but this is the charm of it!

As a matter of fact, it is someone else's home. It's a home for all the struggling and aspiring writers and poets, who come to hang out at this book store from around the world, some of them even live there. The store has beds and couches for them to sleep on any time of a day. And they do!

As the store's clerk explained to me, this book shop has been around for a long time and it became a true 'escape' and solitude for many aspiring and working writers and poets in the city. The store's 'policy' is to give them home when they need it. And since the bookstore is open 24/7, many of the visitors and regulars sometimes stay up late at the store and then just stay there for a night.

It's a rather interesting concept, I must say...but I really like it. I think it's awesome!

And just the book shop in general has this 'old' feel to it, as if Alexandre Dumas was hanging out there at some point in history, writing his The Three Musketeers chapters on little pieces of paper, leaving all around for the clerks to find...

I really like their enormous collections of books and magazines, in the range of very old ones (I'm talking about 13-15th century ones) to the relatively new ones. You can find some true gems here, like an old version of Shakespeare and/or Doctor Faustus in its original tongue.

I can’t imagine any other place I would want to spend a rainy afternoon in Paris.

Address: 37 Rue Bûcherie, 75005, Paris, 01 43 25 40 93

My other favorite book store (think of it as a mini Barnes and Noble, but more intimate, less commercial) is Gibert Jeune.

Address: 2 Place Saint-Michel, Paris, 01 56 81 22 22

So, if you are in Paris, make sure you check it out...

One happy 'book worm'...
This is one of the many beds for writers and poets places among the books of the store. The piano is active and I saw a few people playing it. Everything is at the disposal of the book lovers and literature aficionados. 

This window faces Siene and Notre Dame de Paris - my other favorite places in Paris. I could just sit here for hours...
These are real notes by writers and poets - sketches of their works, something that they were creating while at the store...

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