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Paris in 3 Bookstores

I am back to writing on my blog and there are many things I have to update all of you on!

First of all, I moved!

I month or so ago I announced I would start my journey as a digital nomad, and it is finally starting! Last week I left my home country, Guatemala, and moved to Europe. I took some vacation time before I started working again, and I decided to visit Paris for a couple of days before settling down in Rome.

Of course, I couldn’t visit Paris without visiting some beautiful bookstores. I only had one day to explore different bookstores, so I’m sharing three of my favorite ones here!

Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare & Company

Located in km 0 of Paris, and right across Notre-Dame de Paris, this bookstore is one of the most famous bookstores in all of Europe.

I had to wait in line for a couple of minutes to get in. Yes, there is a queue to visit the bookstore. Thankfully, I arrived there early enough that the line wasn’t too long. It definitely gets longer the later into the day you visit, so if you’re planning on visiting Shakespeare & Company make sure to get there early. Keep in mind, though, that the bookstore does not open until 11AM. So when I say early, it isn’t actually early in the morning.

This schedule worked out fine for me, though, because I had enough time to have breakfast in a nice Parisian restaurant close to the church of Notre Dame.

The bookstore is beautiful on the inside. There are bookshelves going from ceiling to the floor, filled with books on all types of genres. This bookstore sells mostly books in English, but it also has a selection of books in French.

There’s a second floor to the bookshop that leads to a reading room. There are chairs and reading nooks for people to sit down and relax with a good book. The bookshelves on the second floor are filled with old books, rare first editions, and anything antique. Plus, the second floor is home to the bookstore’s cat Angie. When I visited she was sleeping next to a reader, and I just thought it was the most adorable thing ever. Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take photos on the second floor, so no kitty photos.

I had promised myself not to buy anything. I’ll be traveling a lot and, as much as it pains me, I can’t carry books because they’re heavy and take up too much space. That plan, however, flew out the window the moment I entered the bookshop. I ended up buying a tote bag with an illustration of the shop. I also bought a beautiful copy of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo.

The book is a special edition sold only on Shakespeare and Company Paris. I thought it was fitting to purchase a Parisian story while visiting this iconic bookstore.

The Abbey Bookshop

The Abbey Bookshop
The Abbey Bookshop
The Abbey Bookshop

The Abbey bookshop is a little hole-in-the-wall type of bookshop. It’s located a couple of blocks away from Shakespeare and Company, a short walk away from Notre-Dame. I found this bookshop googling English-literature bookstores in Paris, and this was recommended almost everywhere.

And I have to say there’s a reason to that. The bookshop is gorgeous.

The first thing I noticed was the selection of used books it had outside. I browsed through some of them, and they had so many interesting titles. Plus, they had a small table with free water and tea for anyone to get. I found it so charming and inviting.

From the outside, it may look tiny but it’s a rather deep bookshop. It has tall bookshelves overboard with all types of titles. The space is cramped, but it just adds to that cozy bookshop aesthetic.

It has a downstairs level that feels like going down a rabbit hole. The basement also has many bookshelves full of books, mostly nonfiction. On the ground level floor, I found lots of classics. They had beautiful editions and I was tempted to get a couple of them.

The shop felt like it existed in its own magical bubble. I could have stayed there for hours if I hadn’t been traveling with friends.

The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore

The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore
The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore
The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore

The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore is actually two different bookstores, one next to the other. They’re located outside the Luxembourg Gardens.

Both of them sell books in English and French. The first store has adult literature, while the second one is focused on kids and teens.

The owner is Penelope Fletcher, and she was there when I visited. She was so kind and a nice person to talk to. She shared some of her experiences with the shop, how it had started as a small business and how it grew. Plus, she gives amazing book recommendations. We got into a very interesting discussion on The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. It was so invigorating and such a wonderful experience.

I loved visiting bookstores in Paris. I had so many others saved on my Google Maps, but unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to visit them all. These three were my favorites and I wanted to share them with you.

I hope to visit Paris again and explore those I didn’t get a chance to. Now that I’m in Rome I’ve also been visiting some bookstores, so hopefully, I’ll share those with you soon!

Thanks for reading! Please leave your comments and subscribe.

Also, don’t forget to read my other blog posts!


2 responses to “Paris in 3 Bookstores”

  1. Wow just look at all the amazing book shops! I would most likely get an extra suitcase or even two just so I can bring back all the books 🥰


    1. Right? I loved all of them!

      Liked by 1 person

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