English Language Books: Where to Buy Them in Paris

by A.  Letkemann

Updated September 2013

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

Berkeley Books of Paris
8 Rue Casimir-Delavigne, 75006 Paris
Métro: Odéon

Second hand bookshop specializing in literature, criticism, history, philosophy, religion, poetry, literary journals, cookbooks and children’s books.

The Book Cellar
23, rue Jean de Beauvais, 75005 Paris
Phone: 01 46 34 62 03
Métro: Maubert-Mutualité

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.  The selection of English language books here is rather limited.

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.

Gilbert Jeune
Multiple locations for different departments around Place St. Michel, 75005 Paris

15bis boulevard Saint Denis, 75002  Paris
Tel: 01 55 34 75 75

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
Métro: Duroc

Tea and Tattered Pages’ owner passed away some time ago and a new owner is being sought.  The shop is closer until further notice.  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.

W.H. Smith
248, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Phone: 01 44 77 88 99
Métro: Concorde

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.

Sadly, two beloved English language bookshops, The Red Wheelbarrow and Village Voice, closed in 2012.  Read about these developments here.

3 responses to “English Language Books: Where to Buy Them in Paris

  1. Just a mention that SOS Help run two used English booksales per year – really great buys and condition (novels, kids’ books, biography, self-help etc) and for 1€ and 2€, you can’t go wrong. Next sale is this Sunday (10/10/10) from midday to 4pm. Its always worth checking their website http://www.soshelpline.org where you can sign up to get their electronic bulletin about their sales. It will save you money, and you know what you send is for a good cause – to maintain their English emotional support line. 01 46 21 46 46 from 3 to 11pm daily

  2. Pingback: History Comes Alive « Posted in Paris

  3. Michael Oliver

    Regrettably, the Village Voice is closed.

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