In the states, Shakespeare & Company might be a hub for college students to get their textbooks. But in Paris, it’s a legendary bookstore in an early 17th-century building and can feel like a literary time warp.
Shakespeare & Company is the name of two independent English bookstores in Paris’ southern bank. The first was opened by Sylvia Beach whose bookshop was a gathering place for famous writers like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and many other famous writers in the 1920s. It closed in 1941 and never re-opened.
American George Whitman, opened the second location of this bookstore as a tribute to Beach and on the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. It’s still in operation today at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, in the 5th arrondissement. It’s run by his daughter Sylvia Whitman, who was named after Beach. In all of the places I have traveled, this is my favorite bookstore to visit.