by A. Letkemann
English language bookstores in Paris are more than just a place to pick-up your latest copy of that steamy new novel or copy of Vanity Fair. They are also cultural centers where you can meet international authors as well as explore ideas and topics of interest to you. Below is a list of popular English language bookstores in Paris, though not exhaustive, it’s as comprehensive as we can find.
Abbey Bookshop – La Librairie Canadienne
29, rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris
Phone: 01 46 33 16 24
Métro: St-Michel or Cluny La Sorbonne
A Canadian bookshop around the corner from Shakespeare & Co., with lots of secondhand British and North American fiction, good social science sections, plus knowledgeable and helpful staff — and free coffee.
64, rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris
Phone: 01 49 29 27 27
Métro: St-Ambroise, Oberkampf, Parmentier, Filles du Calvaire, or République
The Book Cellar
23, rue Jean de Beauvais, 75005 Paris
Phone: 01 46 34 62 03
37, avenue de l’Opera, 75002 Paris
Métro: Pyramides, Opera
Closed in summer 2009 to the chagrin of readers, Brentano’s reopened in February 2010 under new ownership.
224, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Phone: 01 42 60 76 07
Métro: Tuileries or Concorde
Fine arts, Anglo-American literature, guidebooks, newspapers, and magazines. The oldest English bookstore on the continent.
Multiple locations for different departments around Place St. Michel, 75005 Paris
15bis boulevard Saint Denis, 75002 Paris
Tel: 01 55 34 75 75
The Red Wheelbarrow
22, rue Saint-Paul, 75004 Paris
Phone: 01 48 04 75 08
Métro: Sully-Morland or St-Paul
Opened in 2001, proprietor Penelope Le Masson has created a friendly little bookshop in the St-Paul district of the Marais. The shop specializes in wide range of classic and contemporary literature from English-speaking writers and in English translation books on current affairs, British history, and American history. They also have children’s books about Paris.
San Francisco Book Co.
17, rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 75006 Paris
Phone: 01 43 29 15 70
Métro: Odéon or Luxembourg (RER B).
Buy, sell and trade your English-language hardcover and paperback books at this Left Bank establishment, opened in 2005. It offers a variety of categories (including some first editions and rare collectibles), new and used books, as well as a read-only library upstairs. Get on their mailing list via their Web site to obtain updates of visiting authors and other literary events.
Shakespeare & Co.
37, rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris
Phone: 01 43 25 40 93
Métro: Maubert-Mutualité or St-Michel Notre-Dame
Open from noon to midnight daily, this legendary Parisian book store sells used, antique as well as some new books. Though not at the original location of Sylvia Beach’s famous store, it still attracts a crowd of would-be Hemingways. Get on their mailing list via their website to obtain updates of visiting authors and other literary events.
Tea and Tattered Pages
24, rue Mayet, 75006 Paris
Phone: 01 40 65 94 35
This tiny, independent bookshop is a bit off the beaten path, but they’ve got some of the best deals on new and used English-language books, and a tearoom serving up authentic brownies and apple pie.
Village Voice Bookshop
6, rue Princesse, 75006 Paris
Phone: 01 46 33 36 47
This high-quality bookstore sponsors periodic literary events and offers a vast collection of modern and contemporary fiction, poetry and translations as well as works in the social and political sciences, philosophy, literary criticism, etc. Get on their mailing list via their Web site to obtain updates of visiting authors and other literary events.
248, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Phone: 01 44 77 88 99
This is one of the largest English language book stores in Paris (an independent branch of the British bookstore chain), with an impressive magazine selection and English food products upstairs. They host regular author events and readings for free if you get on their mailing list (on the Web site). Open on Sunday afternoons.
Editor’s Note: You can find a limited selection of English language books in the major French bookstore chains such as FNAC and Virgin Atlantic and perhaps your neighborhood librairie. The French word for bookstore is “librairie”; a library is known as a “bibliotheque”. Amazon.fr also offers English language books with lower shipping rates than if you order from Amazon.uk or Amazon.com.