Where to Find English Bookstores in Paris
Paris is a city known for its literary roots and for attracting avid readers. And English bookstores are actually more common than one might expect in the French capital. I’ve put together this little guide all about where to find English bookstores in Paris.
The Latin Quarter – Shakespeare and Company
If you’re wondering why to find English Bookstores in Paris, any local’s first recommendation will be Shakespeare and Company. Nestled in the heart of the Latin Quarter on the Quai de Montebello, Shakespeare and Company is an English bookstore with quite a bit of history. Founded in 1919 by American Sylvia Beach, the quaint two-story bookshop is a favorite with locals and expats alike. Since it opened, Shakespeare and Co. has hosted a myriad of notable writers and witnessed over a century of success.
Enter Shakespeare and Company and you’ll find books of all genres, stacked from floor to ceiling. There’s a section for everything here, from classic poetry to modern mysteries and New York Times bestsellers. It’s hard not to lose yourself reading in one of the shop’s cozy corners.
Shakespeare and Company also has an adjacent café that shouldn’t be missed. Here you can enjoy some of the city’s most delicious coffee over a good book and a stunning view of Notre-Dame. And if you’re curious to explore more of the Latin Quarter, come join our free neighborhood walking tour! The meeting point is just a block away from the bookstore.
shakespeare and company – 37 rue de la bûcherie, 75005 paris
metro station: cité or saint-michel notre-dame
opening hours: monday – saturday 10AM//10PM
Across from the Louvre – WHSmith
The chic galleries across from the Louvre might not be your first guess for where to find an English bookstore in Paris, but this surprising spot is home to WHSmith bookshop. WHSmith is a British bookstore chain that has been around since 1792!
The Paris store is centrally located on the Rue de Rivoli, and is the city’s biggest English bookstore. At WHSmith, the selection is huge with English books and magazines in every genre imaginable. But actually, WHSmith isn’t your average bookshop. They also sell DVD’s, toys, board games, stationery, English greeting cards and e-readers.
whsmith – 248 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
metro station: concorde
opening hours: monday – saturday 9:30AM//7:30PM
open sunday 12:30PM//7PM
The Heart of Saint-Germain – San Francisco Books Co
Saint-Germain-des-Prés has long been home to literary Paris. Historically, the Left Bank, and the cafés lining Boulevard Saint-Germain were frequented by the likes of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Colette and Sylvia Beach. Today, the area holds onto its literary roots, though the neighborhood is now more chic than artistic in many respects.
But despite the evolving surroundings, San Francisco Books Co remains one of the best English bookstores in Paris. This cozy little shop is tucked away behind Odéon metro station, but you’ll be happy you stopped by. Not only do they have English books stocked floor to ceiling, but the staff are knowledgeable and super friendly. Plus, this place stocks used books, so the prices are really reasonable. Definitely a place to meet some fellow expats!
san francisco book co – 17 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 Paris
metro station: odeon
opening hours: monday – saturday 11AM//9PM
open sunday 2PM//7:30PM
Just Steps from Odéon – Berkeley Books of Paris
Paris’ Left Bank is where you can find the highest concentration of English bookstores in Paris. Our next stop is just down the street from San Francisco Books Co, and if you couldn’t tell by the name, Berkeley Books of Paris is actually a sister store. The modest windows showcase an eclectic mix of current bestsellers and old, previously owned treasures.
Enter the shop and you’ll be blown away by the books towering over you from all angles. You can find just about any genre here, and they stock used books and CD’s too so the price is right. Berkeley Books also hosts stand up shows and various readings and book signings from time to time. Be sure to ask for the upcoming schedule on your next visit.
berkeley books of paris – 8 Rue Casimir Delavigne, 75006 Paris
metro station: odeon
opening hours: open wednesday – sunday 2PM//8PM
Across from Jardin du Luxembourg – The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore
Easily one of the most charming English bookstores in Paris, the Red Wheelbarrow is an independent literary book shop just across from the Jardin du Luxembourg. The name The Red Wheelbarrow is an ode to the famous poem by William Carlos Williams.
Relatively new on the Parisian bookstore scene, the Red Wheelbarrow is already a favorite among expats and locals. The friendly service and extensive selection of classic and contemporary literature, as well as English cookbooks, children’s books and a large poetry collection. They also host events like book signings, so have a look at their blog for the latest schedule. And the location just across from the Jardin du Luxembourg makes it a great place to grab a book and then enjoy a read in the park.
the red wheelbarrow – 9 rue de medicis 75006 paris
metro station: odeon
opening hours: monday- wednesday 10AM//7PM
open thursday – saturday 10AM//8PM
open sunday 12PM//6PM
The Latin Quarter – The Abbey Bookshop
Again, we’re back in the literary Latin Quarter for a quintessential Rive Gauche bookstore. The Abbey Bookshop was founded in 1989 by a Canadian expat eager to share his love for books with the world. And while the ornate façades of the shop front may be typically Parisian, the interior will have you stepping into a friendly Anglophone world.
While Canadian books remain one of the shop’s main focuses, there are over 35,000 titles in English from a variety of authors! So if you’re looking for a specific title, there’s a good chance they have it at the Abbey Bookshop. Plus, the shop is located right in the middle of the Latin Quarter, so why not join our neighborhood walking tour after visiting the bookshop?
the abbey bookshop –
metro station: cluny la sorbonne
opening hours: monday – saturday 10AM//7PM
Now you know where to find English bookstores in Paris. Happy reading and hope to see you soon in Paris!