Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Some Bookish Places in Paris I Have Visited


The first time I visited Paris, in 2010, I went first thing to Shakespeare and Company. I loved all the shelves, and the rooms, and the nooks and crannies. It was hard to get me to leave this shop. This is a photo from that visit, with me on the right and my two nieces on the left. I have visited Shakespeare and Company three times now, one each time I've come to Paris. 


I always spend time at Les Bouquinistes, the enormous open-air booksellers along the Seine. 


I met up with Louise on my first trip to Paris. We visited a few French bookstores in Paris. 


On my trip last winter, I was surprised to see a woman carrying books out of her apartment and leaving them on the bench near the street. What was the story there? She even had a French-English dictionary in the pile. Was she giving up on Paris?


I spent an afternoon when I was in Paris last winter exploring English-language bookstores.


My first stop was The Abbey Bookshop. It is owned by a former Canadian (note the flags). The Abbey Bookshop is located on Rue de la Parcheminerie, originally named Rue des Escrivains for the scribes and scriveners who were important to the book profession before they were replaced by parchmentmakers in the late Middle Ages.


I wasn't surprised to learn that it was a bit of a jumble; all good used bookstores are a bit of a jumble.


I didn't take a picture of the front of the second shop I visited. It was a jumble, too.


The third stop was the San Francisco Book Company. I was on the hunt for English versions of French children's classics. There were not any children's books (that I saw) there; this store seemed to stock mainly books about politics. 



I did an entire post on this bookstore: A Visit to the Red Wheelbarrow in Paris.

I never did find the children's books I was looking for. Oh well. Next time.






Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

36 comments:

  1. Lovely photos and I have to say, I'm jealous!

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  2. Lucky you and these are some gorgeous shots!

    Here's my Top Ten Tuesday post.

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  3. Shakespeare and Company looks like such a fun shop to visit. Thanks for stopping by earlier.

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  4. lovin your pics.did you grab any of the books? :-)

    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. No, because I didn't have an inch of extra space in my suitcase. Darn!

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  5. I've never been to Shakespeare and Company but would love to go!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/top-ten-tuesday-273/

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  6. I would love to follow your trail here. I wonder, too, what the story was with the books on the bench. ???

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  7. Great post & pics. I agree with all .... I need to know what's the bench story?!? Perhaps she was just giving them away. Those books no longer made the cut ... in her cluttered apartment. hmm.

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  8. Great post! I'd love to go to Shakespeare and Company one day.

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  9. Fab post, I’d love to wander round the bookshops there!

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  10. While studying at La Sorbonne I went to Shakespeare and Co often to study books in English and perfect my vocabulary; it has not changed. I did not know the other bookstores you mention. When I am in Paris I go to the French bookstores because books in French are hard to find in Nashville or Atlanta. At the library book sales they have some, but they usually are those required to read in schools and are lined. One of my favorite bookstore is Gibert Joseph, right around the corner from Shakespeare & Co. next to the Metro St Michel on the boulevard.. If you go all the way to their 6th floor they sell beaucoup second-hand French paperbacks. I try not to buy too many because they are heavy in my suitcase. Last time I bought about 6 Modiano books. They opened I think in 1929 and they are great also for second-hand textbooks (in French) – am not sure how much English language books they have as I don’t look for them.

    For English books in Paris, from the UK, I like to go to WHSSmith Paris. It is a large British bookstore on rue de Rivoli in front of the Tuileries gardens and near the Louvre. I like to visit their first floor where is a cafĂ© with very British food and drinks, it’s fun going there. They say they are the largest English bookstore in Paris since 1903 (https://whsmith.fr/ )

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    1. I visited a few French bookshops, but I can only read small pictures books in French.

      I will look for WHSSmith next time I go to Paris. Maybe the virus will go away and I can return next year.

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  11. Oh my goodness I adore this! Paris is wonderful in itself and I did find Shakespeare and Co when I went... but recently with a 6 year old Paris has become synonymous with Disneyland! Must go back for a bookish tour!

    My list is here: TTT

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  12. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Jumbly bookstores are the best. ♡

    Here's my TTT list this week.

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  13. I also made a pilgrimage to Shakespeare and Company whne I was in Paris! It was my top destination there! Besides that, I also saw the booksellers along the Seine, but I didn't know about any of the other bookstores you visited, so if I'm ever in Paris again, I will look them up!

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  14. What a fun post for today! Thanks for going your own way with the theme. Well done!

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  15. Great post. Thank you for sharing your pictures.
    Here is my TTT.
    https://dmhoisington.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/top-ten-tuesday-7/

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  16. I've seen Shakespeare & Co on a number of lists today. How fun that you've actually been there! It sounds like an awesome place to visit. Someday ...

    Happy TTT!

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  17. I'm saving your list. Of course I know Shakespeare and the bouquiinistes, but the others are new to me. My idea of heaven!

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  18. Shakespeare and Co and the stalls along the Seine were two of my favorite parts of my Paris trip! Such a good way to soak in the culture!

    My TTT

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  19. No fair showing us wonderful book places in France when we're stuck at home during a pandemic! :-)

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  20. What a great experience and trip. I would have needed to stay a year.

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  21. Wonderful. Adding all these places to my list of places to visit.

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  22. Is that Aussie Louise? If so, I've met her at Melbourne Writers Festival before!

    I'd love to visit any of those places!

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    1. Yes, it's Louise from Australia. Isn't it crazy that we---me from one side of the world and she from another---met up in Paris?

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  23. there must be so many old book treasures - I don't know how you controlled yourself - I'd have been buying up loads of books!

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  24. A few French children's books have become classics in translation to English -- especially Babar the Elephant, TinTin, and The Little Prince. I would be interested in other children's translations from French to English you have found. When we were there for long stays, we relied on WHSmith for escape reading.

    be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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  25. Oh, I'm so behind in everything at the moment, life, blog trawling.... and here I come to the first Paris in July post this year only to find -me! I have such wonderful memories of that day! How can it be that it was 10 years ago? My last trip to Paris was 2014, and who knows when the next one will be? I'm so glad to see that you're carrying the Paris torch high.

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    1. It's all good. How can it be ten years ago?! Impossible.

      I will continue to carry the torch until I can pass it off to you.

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  26. Love the trip through the bookstores in Paris! How lucky you are to have had such grand excursions :)

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  27. Oh, gosh, now I'm super curious about the woman leaving books out on a bench, too. I really want to know the story behind that!

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  28. OH, wouldn't it be wonderful if we had such bookstores here? Even one, only one in Alvin. Guess I'll just have to open one!

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  29. When I lived in Germany I was lucky enough to visit Paris several times (there was an express train that took less than 4 hours!). I went to Shakespeare and Company nearly every time and it never occurred to me to check for other English bookstores! What was I thinking? And I agree, all the best used bookstores are jumbled up. I think it's more exciting when you find treasures.

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