Shakespeare and Company was one of the first places I wanted to visit when I arrived.
Just minutes away from Notre-Dame and the Seine, it’s a legendary English language bookshop that has been a haunt for writers and poets since the ’20s. Sadly the current store isn’t the original (that was closed by the Nazis during the French Occupation), but it has been at its current address since 1951.
Aside from all the people taking pictures outside, it wasn’t too busy to browse considering it’s supposed to be such a tourist trap. Downstairs is like a warren, filled with books from floor to ceiling on every subject from art to sci-fi. It is packed with interesting nooks and crannies, art on the walls and literary quotes on the stairs – “I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.”
Someone was playing the piano when we arrived, which added to the whole atmosphere. And upstairs was more like a library, filled with old books which aren’t for sale, but are just there to be read and enjoyed.
Sadly I didn’t buy anything – as to be expected, the books were expensive – but I’ll definitely be going back as soon as I can. I could spend a whole day here!