Parisian Living

Our Favorite English Bookstores in Paris

by Lily Heise

Now that France has come out of full lockdown, we’re able to dip back into public life and into our favorite English bookshops in Paris, which have mercifully reopened their doors. While it’s true that Kindles and other electronic readers are becoming increasingly popular, there’s nothing quite like cozying up with an old-fashioned paper book and exercising that newfound freedom by walking over to one of these wonderful local English bookstores.

Left: Shelves at the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in Paris displaying books, bags of coffee, plants and other assorted items, Right: A man in a blue jacket and gray hat walks through a passage in Paris and browses at an assortment of books.
Top: Brandon Lopez / Above: Shakespeare & Company Café by Tatiana Silva / Mat Napo

Shakespeare and Company

A Parisian literary institution since 1919, although found at its current location since 1951, this legendary shop is a must for book lovers. Get lost wandering its maze of rooms (be sure to have a look upstairs!), track down a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, and poke around stacks of other good reads—all of which you can get stamped with the shop’s seal at checkout. You can immediately dig into your finds by heading next door to their more recently added hip coffee shop.

Left: The Galignani bookstore in Paris, with many books on display on the shelves. A man in the background can be seen looking at the books, Right: The front of The Abbey Bookshop in Paris, with multiple flags (including the American and British flag) and boxes of books.
Galignani by Lindsey Tramuta / The Abbey Bookshop by Nastasia’s Passport

The Abbey Bookshop

A short walk from Shakespeare’s and hidden in the heart of the Latin Quarter, this favorite English bookshop in Paris, has played a vital role in the city’s English book world since its opening in the 1990s. Run by Canadian Brian Spence, you can find a wide variety of new and used books on the shop’s overflowing shelves. Visitors can also enjoy a free cup of “Canadian” coffee, made with a healthy dose of maple syrup.

A marble table next to a gray couch in an apartment in Paris, atop are assorted items including books and a pair of glasses.
Diana Liu

The Red Wheelbarrow

Now located across from the Luxembourg Gardens, Penelope Fletcher’s first shop was found over on the Right Bank from 2001-2012. She reopened at this picturesque location in 2018, where she sells a carefully chosen selection of books ranging from children’s stories to latest releases, which you can take to read in the park across the street or a few doors down to the great contemporary café Treize au Jardin. Her little store is now one of our favorite English bookshops in Paris!

Left: A book, "The New Paris" by Lindsey Tramuta, sits atop a marble table, Right: A stack of books on a shelf, including books like "My Paris Kitchen," "The New Paris," and "Paris My Sweet"
Diana Liu / Ali Postma

Galignani 

One of the oldest existing bookstores in all of Paris, this elegant shop on rue de Rivoli was originally opened in 1801 a few streets away on rue Vivienne. It has large windows, soaring ceilings, and neatly arranged shelves of fiction and nonfiction books in English and French, including an excellent collection of art books.

Left: Assorted items are seen on, under and next to a black shelf in an apartment, including a stack of books and bottles of alcohol, Right: Assorted items sit next to a mirror atop a fireplace in an apartment, including a stack of books and a vase of flowers made from an old champagne bottle.
Diana Liu

WHSmith

A few blocks down on rue de Rivoli is the Paris branch of this popular British bookstore chain. In addition to a vast array of books in English, they also have a large selection of international newspapers and magazines, British gift and food items, and a charming tea room on the second floor. 

People are seen sitting on large stone steps near the Seine River in Paris; A man sits holding his leg and a woman a few steps above sits while reading a book.
Viktor Kiryanov

Adresses

Shakespeare & Company – 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris

The Abbey Bookshop – 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris

The Red Wheelbarrow – 9 Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris

Treize au Jardin – 5 Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris

Galignani – 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

WHSmith Paris – 248 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

Related Links

Written by Lily Heise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a  fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Lily Heise

Lily Heise has been living in Paris for more than 10 years. When she's not getting into romantic mischief, she writes on dating, travel, and culture. Her writing has been featured in Frommer’s Guides, the Huffington Post, Conde Nast Traveler, City Secrets, DK Eyewitness Guides, and other local and international publications. She is the author of Je T'Aime, Me Neither, and Je T'Aime... Maybe? lively novelized memoirs on her romantic misadventures, and continues to share dating tips, stories and travel features on her blog www.jetaimemeneither.com. View Lily Heise's Website

One comment on “Our Favorite English Bookstores in Paris

You left out the Berkeley Bookstore and the San Francisco Bookstore, both in the Odeon district in the 6th Arrond. If I think of others I’ll pass them on.

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