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A Literary Legacy: The Top Five English-Language Bookstores in Paris

Since the days of Hemingway’s “Lost Generation,” Paris’ English-language bookstores have been vibrant gathering spots for the city’s Anglophone community. To this day, they all keep a ready supply of ex-pat classic A Moveable Feast on hand, and it’s no secret that the legacy of literati past continues to inspire Paris’ contemporary writers.

English Bookstores ParisPhotos by Craigfinlay, Gadl

Whether you’re a reader, a writer, or just a literary lurker (yeah, we can see you hiding behind the stacks), you’ll want to check out our list of the top five English-language bookstores in Paris. Most hold regular readings, which provide the perfect opportunity to mix and mingle with like-minded literary folk.

1. Shakespeare & Co. Founded in 1919 (in another location) by Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare & Co. has long been the grande dame of English bookstores in Paris. It was a regular hangout for the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce, and over the years, nearly every major writer of the 20th century has passed through its doors. Nowadays, regular readings and workshops make this colorful spot a necessary pilgrimage for readers and writers the world over. Young “tumbleweeds” (aspiring writers on the go) still blow through to read, write and camp out in the shop’s upstairs room. For a calendar of upcoming events, click here. 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 5eme. Tel: 01 43 25 40 93.

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Posted in Arts, Events, Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

WiFi Cafes in Paris: A Writer’s Paradise

littlebrownpenmorelittlebrownpen.blogspot.com

I’m not the first writer to have moved to Paris with a gleam in her eye and a dream in her heart; nor am I the first writer to have scoured the streets in search of free WiFi (pronounced wee-fee in French) a.k.a. wireless Internet. Hemingway may have gotten the job done with pencil and paper in an ice-cold garret, but we modern-day Hemingways prefer slightly cozier digs in which to indulge our literary fantasies and writer-ly rituals.

And so, I give you the list of HIP-tested, HIP-approved, writer-friendly Parisian cafés complete with free wireless Internet (WiFi). For the cost of a mere espresso, you can spend hour after hour writing (or planning to write… or thinking about planning to write…. or, let’s face it, just procrastinating… but at least you’re procrastinating in Paris). This list is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s enough to get you started. Now get out there and go for it. Your novel’s not going to write itself! Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 22 Comments »

Literary Paris for Expats: Tory’s Top Picks

girl readingPhoto: tumblr

One of the most gratifying things about being a Francophile is that, no matter where you are, you can always read your way back to France. When I’m not in Paris and my wanderlust kicks in, I reach for a book that will take me back, and I’m never disappointed. And while French literature can send me into a stay of pure bliss, I’m equally enamored with English-language expat literature. Whether it’s Hemingway’s “Lost Generation” or whatever today’s equivalent would be, there is something perpetually intriguing about cultural castaways—those outsiders who become insiders only to realize they’ll always be outsiders, etc. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events | 2 Comments »