I grew up in a family of readers and now I’ve generated another generation of book lovers. Given the price of English language books in Paris, the American Library, a subscription library tucked into a side street in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, has been a godsend.
A subscription library? Yes, the American Library is private and to cover its expenses, one must pay a yearly fee – 155 euros for families, 100 euros for individuals, and 75 euros for students and seniors. (There are also short-term — four or six month — memberships if your time in Paris is limited.) But trust me, it’s been worth every centime. The collection is extensive (120,000 books and subscriptions to over 400 periodicals) so good luck running out of things to read. An unadvertised gem is the incredible travel section; our family has taken several dozen trips within Europe during our sojourn here and we have yet to buy a single guide book thanks to the library. Whatever our destination, there’s always a guide from Eyewitness, Lonely Planet, Michelin, or other sources that I can check out.
The library, which currently serves 2,300 members from 60 countries, also offers movies and other audiovisual materials, reference and research resources in paper and in electronic form including JSTOR & EBSCO databases. In addition, there are regular literary and public-affairs programs and book groups for adults, as well as children’s and teen events and activities.
The library is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sundays, from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. September through June. Reduced summer hours apply during the months of July and August.
The American Library in Paris
10, rue du Général Camou
Phone: 01 53 59 12 60