on my recent trip to paris, i was eager to check out shakespeare and company, an english-language independent bookseller which has roots all the way back to 1919. on my TBR list is Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart. from there, i will educate myself on the incredible history that has made the store what it is today. for now, i will share my brief experience there and the small amount of information I gathered from my friend who currently lives in paris.
the store is relatively small and crowded-feeling (which was intensified by the large amount of tourists and locals alike, which i’m sure the store hosts every day). it has beautiful bones with hardwood floors and a narrow structure. immediately to the left when i walked in, there were tall shelves dedicated to the beat generation and lost generation. my friend told me this store used to be frequented by then-aspiring writers from the lost generation including ernest hemingway. there are multiple rooms to explore filled with classics and new books. i spent several minutes admiring the staircase: underneath it were pages taped to the steps with reading and writing tips from famous authors. when i checked out to purchase a farewell to arms by ernest hemingway and marie antoinette by stefan zweig, my books were ink-stamped with a shakespeare and company stamp inside. it made the whole experience feel very special and unforgettable.
i hope to make it back to this magical store someday and look forward to learning more about its history and the writers who shaped it to become an institution in the literary world.
contact info and hours
@shakespeareandcoparis on instagram