Destination: France BOOKSTORES
A tip of the hat to Trazzler, who inspired this post. Trazzler lists short posts about beautiful bookstores around the world, including Paris. (UPDATE: Actually the page is gone, but you can do a search on Trazzler for beautiful bookstores and find them individually.)
Do take a look because the collection had me going WOW! or OMG! as I visited fantastic bookstores around the world.
When we were in Paris, we skipped Shakespeare and Company, perhaps the single best-known bookstore in the world because of its association with people like Ernest Hemingway and D. H. Lawrence. It is covered in the Trazzler list above and I LOVE their quirky web site. Plus here’s a little love letter to Shakespeare and Company from The Story Girl, a book reviewer.
As for our own explorations, when we travelled to Paris, we stayed in the St. Germaine district, which used to be the center of the French publishing industry, and still has an interesting assortment of librairies (bookstores). Besides general bookstores, there were some that specialized in a very narrow specialty. We saw one devoted to books about cars! (In a bus so couldn’t get a picture) Here are my pictures of a couple we visited. Of course the writer of A Traveler’s Library would have to stop at a bookstore that sold nothing but antique travel books!! Even though they were not in English.
I was also fascinated by this antiquarian bookstore near the Odeon that specialized in antique children’s books.
He carried other antique objects that were originally made to entertain children, like this clockwork picture. One of those “If you have to ask you can’t afford it” items.
I was captivated by the marionette lounging on a shelf.
Doesn’t this guy look kind of like one of the three musketeers? Well the musketeers hung out in this section of Paris, according to one book I read. Amazing the footsteps we’re following. And how about this newspaper with a report of the REAL Around the World in 80 Days?
Yes, there were plenty of BOOKS in this bookstore, too.
Want to write your own book? We found this shop with all kinds of journals, pens, writing desks, notecards, everything a writer needs–behind the historic Procope Cafe where Benjamin Franklin used to hang out.
Of course, in Paris, a book to read or a piece of old sheet music, or a poster, is as near as your closest outdoor book stall, like these along the Seine. Notice the Edgar Alan Poe.
Want more bookstores in Paris? Gridskipper gives you a helpful map showing some of the best in Paris.
As I was poking around the Internet, I found a site to help find booksellers world wide for antiquarian, first edition, signed, etc. [Update: the site has been labeled unsafe, so I have removed the link]. But I’d rather go to Paris, and wander around St. Germaine and the Latin Quarter!
Are bookstores on your shopping list when you travel? Do you ONLY go to English language bookstores?