When you’re in Paris, one of the most fun shopping trips is to a book store and Paris has many. We picked these four shops as some of our favourites because they have English language books on the shelves or they are just so special you won’t mind the fact that they books are in French. Instead you’ll pull up a chair, order a glass of wine or a coffee and absorb the bookish atmosphere of these book boltholes in the city of light.
Abbey Book Shop
Opened in 1989 by expat Canadian Brian Spence, this very pretty little bookshop in the Latin Quarter attracts a global audience thanks to the eclectic collection of over 35,000 titles in English ranging from scholarly to popular literature. It’s quirky and utterly gorgeous!
29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris; Metro: Odeon; open 10am-7 pm Monday – Saturday, Sunday 1pm – 7 pm
This is a quite unique book store and it makes the list though it has almost entirely French books on the shelves. It’s the only book shop in Paris, perhaps in France that opens until 2 in the morning – with a wine cellar! Great place to stop off for an aperitif and a snack or a late night/early morning coffee or glass of something else. It’s a literary haven with a cosy, friendly atmosphere and it’s very French!
31 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 4th Arr; Métro: Hôtel de Ville, St.Paul, Pont Marie; Open daily from 17h – 02h; www.cafeine.com
Merci Le Used Book Café
This place is great for a browse amongst the 10,000 books in a lovely setting in this fashion and homeware concept store. Plus you can get breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea Monday to Saturday 10am – 7 pm.
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais 3rd Arr; Metro Saint Sebastien Froissart (line 8); open 10am – 7.30 pm Monday to Saturday; www.merci-merci.com
The first English language book shop in Europe outside of Britain and a long heritage in the book business make this a standout store. The Galignani family started printing books in 1520 in Venice. They moved to London (they printed the books of Wordsworth, Byron, Thackeray and Scott amongst many others) and then to Paris where they opened a book shop and reading room specialising in English in 1801 and moved the shop to rue de Rivoli in 1856 – they’re still there. Terrific selection of Anglo-American books plus an extensive fine arts department.
224, rue de Rivoli 1st Arr; Metro: Concorde; open Monday – Saturday 10am – 7 pm; www.galignani.fr
If you can’t get enough of book shops in Paris – check out these three English language book nooks that’ll knock your socks off!