June 11th, 2014

Book Lover in Paris


Fellow book lovers,

I write to you– in rather giddy frame of mind, admittedly– to inform you of the latest bookish developments in my Paris sojourn. Because yesterday afternoon, drizzly, dreary day that it was, also happened to be class-free for lucky moi! Needless to say, I used my spare time to hit the books– the good ones, that is– and visited two bookstores in Left Bank Paris, both within (relative) walking distance of the Luxembourg Gardens: reading spot extraordinaire. In other words, I completed my ultimate rainy day fantasy, and it rocked.

Just on the other side of the Seine, Shakespeare & Co., which I’m sure you’ve heard of, is the Parisian bibliophile’s true Champs Élysées. It has history, too; it was formerly the stomping grounds of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and other Lost literary expatriates. It’s not the original Shakespeare & Co., of course, as the Sylvia Beach-owned shop was shut down during World War II; however it remains true to its namesake, still accommodating starving authors and hosting  various events. There’s books everywhere— floor to ceiling on both floors, wedged into various nooks and crannies, lining the doorways and piled on the stairs– and whatever novel you purchase is stamped with the shop’s logo on the way out (I bought The Last Tycoon by Fitzgerald, pictured above). There’s even a resident cat, who lounged in the reading room while I was there. Furthermore– and this is the best part–  everything and everyone is english!

‘Tis the stuff of dreams.

It even has charm!

If you’re feeling slightly more Parisian, however, you may want to visit L’Écume des pages (The Pages’ Sea Foam) instead. (I discovered this one while leafing through an article about designer Sonia Rykiel’s daily schedule.) This shop is undeniably French, but as it turns out the atmosphere of a bookstore is international.  You can walk right in, close your eyes, take in the familiar bookstore smell, and be completely at home.

What do you think? Am I missing anything? I’m dying for suggestions. Leave a comment and let me know!


I’ll keep you posted,

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