Paris has inspired some of the world’s greatest writers and works of literature. Hemmingway, Moliere, Voltaire, Balzac, Victor Hugo and Proust were all moved to write about the sights, sounds and feelings aroused by the City of Light. With such a literary heritage Paris is a haven for book lovers. If you want to get swept up in a great book here are some of the best bookshops in Paris to delight all bibliophiles.
The 7 Best Bookshops in Paris
One of the most beautiful bookshops in Paris is located in one of the most beautiful arcades in Paris. The Galerie Vivienne in the 2nd arrondissement is a treasure trove. One of its gems is the Jousseaume bookstore. Jousseaume opened its doors in 1826 and is housed in a stunning listed building. Its shelves are filled with old books and the shop is filled with old charm.
American editor Sylvia Beach opened Shakespeare and Company in 1919. Today, it is one of the most famous and iconic bookshops in Paris. You’ll find this beautiful bookshop in the 5th arrondissement close to Notre-Dame cathedral. Its old-world wooden facade hints at the wonderfully charming interior. When you step through the door you’ll see shelves laden with new and second-hand books in English. Warm and welcoming staff are on hand to help you find whatever it is you are looking for.
The Red Wheelbarrow is located in the Latin Quarter of the 6th arrondissement. You’ll find this English bookshop opposite the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg. Behind the postcard-pretty blue facade, you’ll find stacks and stacks of English and French books. A vast array of subjects are covered like gastronomy, poetry, history and politics. You’ll also find children’s books, classic and contemporary literature as well as a range of academic titles. Many people consider this to be one of the best English-language bookstores in Paris.
You’ll find this bookshop in the 1st arrondissement by the Tuileries metro stop. When it opened in 1801, Librairie Galignani was the first English bookstore on the European continent. Today, it still specialises in Anglophone books, which line the shelves in their thousands. Alongside these books are beautiful art books and a smattering of French-language books too. There are plenty of pretty teashops in this area which are perfect places to relax with your new purchases.
This second-hand, English-language bookshop is located in the Odeon area of the Left Bank near to the Jardin du Luxembourg. It is crammed full of brilliant books. On the shelves, you’ll find books covering a wide variety of subjects including history, art, science, philosophy, religion and the humanities. There’s also a great children’s book section and a first editions collection. All of the stock is second-hand but you’ll find loads of recent titles here too.
Assouline is on Rue Bonaparte in the Saint Germain area of the 6th arrondissement. It is a beautiful bookshop that sells Assouline-produced luxury coffee table books. These books are works of art. Assouline feels more like a boutique than a bookshop. Everything it sells is exquisite and aesthetically pleasing. You can also buy stationery, gifts, books stands and luxury candles in the shop.
Founded in 1700 by the Delamain family, Librairie Delamain is one of the oldest bookshops in Paris. Located on busy Rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st arrondissement, the pace inside this bookshop is slower than that outside. The inviting staff and displays encourage you to browse the heaving shelves slowly. Scanning each book for that gem you didn’t know you were looking for. Librairie Delamain is full of history. Located in the same building since 1906, it has the elegance and sophistication of a bygone era.