Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and company bookshop Paris
Beats section

So as the final post of the Green Paris series, I’m talking about my favourite bookshop (as cliché as it is) – the Shakespeare and Company. The heritage of this wonderful little store is littered with literary genius, including visitors and live-in writers such as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Henry Miller, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The shop itself is a teeny tiny place, crammed full of bookshelves ranging from general fiction to poetry, murder mysteries to cooking – and it’s one of the only bookshops that specialises in novels printed in English. I’ve always been attracted to dainty and cluttered places, so I must have visited this place at least five times, purchasing Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” upon first moving to the city, and my latest one on the Physiology of Taste, a rather complex and intriguing novel about chiefly French cuisine and the way one should approach the subject.

Unlike the other establishments on my list, Shakespeare and Co. is the only real tourist destination, but it’s one that I love so much, with its quirky layout, beautiful decorations and chilled-out house-cat, as well as the feeling of stepping in an area that so many other amazing writers came to and were often first stocked at too. It’s something I couldn’t leave off the list, even though it doesn’t quite enter the realm of conscious living or healthy eating. If you’re thinking of getting a quirky souvenir from Paris, this is definitely a good place to come – they even stamp your book and seal it in a brown-paper bag!


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