Tag Archives: newspapers

Be in the Know

What’s the best way to stay up to speed on what’s going on in Paris? There’s no one answer but here are a few ideas that will put you on the road to being considered in the know.

Read the newspaper:   Obvious right? Or perhaps just hopelessly old-fashioned.  Even if your French skills are limited, scanning the paper, any paper, will do you good.   Le Parisien and France-Soir are easier to read than Libération and Le Monde.  Even better, pick up one of the free papers available at your neighborhood métro station.   I don’t know for sure but it seems like these papers (Métro, Direct Matin, and 20 Minutes) are written for about a 5th grade literacy level.   If nothing else, you should pick up Le Figaro on Wednesdays when it includes the entertainment insert, Figaroscope.  And if you can’t read a word of French, try the on-line English language entertainment guide, Paris Update.

Follow Paris blogs:  It doesn’t matter whether you just surf on over every now and then for a visit or subscribe to a feed.  Just make it a point to take of the advantage of their wisdom and knowledge of upcoming events.  Particularly good bets are Paris by Mouth, Secrets of Paris and Paris Weekends.

Pay attention to posters:  The city of Paris sponsors many festivals and it seems like every weekend, there’s some kind of  fete with themes as wide ranging as gardening, food and wine, music, art, cinema, sport, and, biodiversity.  In addition, there are frequent expositions at the large convention centers at Porte de Versailles and Porte de Champerret; these feature vendors, demonstrations, and all manner of activities on a single theme:  interior design, manga, independent vintners, automobiles, and yes, of course, chocolate.

Make friends:   Two heads are definitely better than one.  Tap into the expertise of colleagues, parents of your kids’ friends, fellow parishioners, and other members of expat organizations like the American Women’s Group, WICEthe American Chamber of CommerceParis Alumnae/i Network, and MESSAGE.   And take a look at Meetup Paris, an online forum that helps folks connect with others who have similar interest, whether that’s forming a playgroup for babies or playing rugby.


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.