Shakespeare & Company Book Shop Paris Reviews
Feb 28, 2007
I'm sure this little hole-in-the-wall receives a lot of press, especially since the movie "Before Sunset" recently featured it as a prominent location for the film, but I just had to add my two cents. The bookshop is absolutely charming. Small, cramped, packed with books...it's a great English language shop and you can find almost any type of book you're searching for. If you have a few minutes free while walking along the Seine toward Notre Dame, stop by.
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Jan 29, 2006
Famous for being in several movies and famous for being such an
extensive english bookstore in Paris. The most recent movie you
can see it in is "Before Sunset" with Ethan Hawke.
From the website:
"Set in the heart of Paris on the Left Bank opposite Notre-Dame,
Shakespeare and Company has grown from a bookstore into an institution.
It is situated in the Latin Quarter which for centuries has been the
centre of Parisian creativity and intelligentsia."
"Shakespeare and Company first opened its doors in 1951. For over fifty
years, the bookshop has housed numerous writers and hosted readings by
published and unpublished authors. Upon entering, you will find
yourself in a place Henry Miller described "A wonderland of books"."
"George Whitman is the legendary owner of Shakespeare and Company. He
originally comes from Salem, Massachusetts, but for the last sixty
years has made Paris his home. George is a bibliophile of such stature
that he insists his guests read a book a day and believes himself to be
living in a novel. At 91 years old, he has recently retired but still
sits as a figurehead above his store."
"George had spent many years walking through South America and was
touched by the hospitality of locals, who would often feed and
accommodate him. This had a profound impact upon his life and led him
to create a bookstore that is a sanctuary for writers, aspiring writers
and artists. From the day that George opened he has invited writers to
share his home. Some 50,000 have placed their heads on Shakespeare and
Company’s famous pillows. Such people as Henry Miller, Anäis Nin,
Lawrence Durrell and Alan Ginsberg have shared a tea and a pancake with
George. It is still possible to see the bookstore’s history on the
bookshelves. You may be thumbing through a James Baldwin novel only to
discover the author has signed it to Shakespeare and Company."
Truly a gem of good feeling and great literature. Myself I
found some real treasures that I now gladly have to lug back to the
Here is the website: Shakespear & Company
Note: the people who work at the store do not get paid from what I'm
told, they are either lovers of books or aspiring authors who work
there and in exchange are allowed to sleep in the store.
Part of the EU January 2006 travel blog
Jan 31, 2006
I agree, a very charming bookstore. When you first enter the effect is a bit disconcerting because the shop seems cramped and chaotic. There are books everywhere - piled on tables, blocking the aisles and precariously balanced on the tops of winding bookshelves. You get the sense that you are wandering around in an eccentric librarian's home study rather than in a bookstore. One of the best places in Paris to find english language books.