20 + Best English Bookstores in Paris
Oh yes – Paris is well-known as a literate city. There are hundreds (!) of bookstores in Paris – and then there are the bouqinistes (book stalls) all along the Seine.
Flickr cc: Misko
Bouqinistes along the Seine. Wikimedia Commons: Jebulon
If you’re not quite reading in French, and you can’t stand ereaders, don’t worry. There are a variety of English bookstores in Paris. Note: I’ve put the three most famous bookstores in front, the rest are in alphabetical order. Read on!
20+ Best English Bookstores in Paris
Photo: Winfred Peppinck, adapted by Wandering Educators
Shakespeare and Company
The most famous English bookstore in Paris (it’s been in movies!), this is a place of pilgrimage for many readers and writers, and beloved of most English-speaking travelers. The original Shakespeare and Co was first started in the 1919 by Sylvia Beach, who ran it until 1941. Beach welcomed writers and was part of the literary scene – famous writers included Joyce, Hemingway, Pound, Stein, and Fitzgerald. The second version of Shakespeare and Co was established in 1951 by George Whitman. Whitman also encouraged writers, including Ginsberg, Miller, Ferlinghetti, Burroughs, and more. It’s a hodgepodge of books, music, cats, a piano, a bed, chairs, and book-loving people. There’s also a library, as you can see in this video.
Address: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France
Phone:+33 1 43 25 40 93
Wikimedia Commons: flo21
Wikimedia Commons: gadl
Wikimedia Commons: Ingolfson
A Canadian icon in Paris, the Abbey Bookshop was founded in 1989, and has over 35,000 English new, used, and rare books (many of them Canadian). It’s just a few blocks away from Notre Dame, so hie yourself away from the crowds and immerse yourself in a book (or ten).
29, rue de la Parcheminerie
Métro: St. Michel / Cluny la Sorbonne
Tél: +33 01 46 33 16 24
Fax: +33 01 46 33 03 33
Wikimedia Commons: LPLT
Galignani was originally a publishing house, started in 1520. In 1801, one of the Galignani (Giovanni Antonio) opened a bookshop (and English reading room) on rue Vivienne. Eventually settling in rue de Rivoli, this bookstore is a must-stop for any book lover. It is known as the first English bookshop established on the Continent.
224, rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris
Tel : 01 42 60 76 07
Fax : 01 42 86 09 31
Accès : M° Tuileries, M° Concorde
American University in Paris Bookstore
Textbooks for students at AUP. Here, you’ll also find dictionaries, writing guides, enrichment reading, and a wide range of books on art history, fiction, international economics, philosophy, Paris guides, and AUP faculty publications.
The American University of Paris
10 bis rue Amélie
75007, Paris, France
Tel: (33/1) 40.62.05.92
Fax: (33/1) 45.56.06.00
Wikimedia Commons: Maria Noland
Artazart Design Bookstore
Not an English bookstore, per se, but packed to the rim with beautiful books. It’s a design bookstore (obviously), colorful and interesting. There’s also a gallery within the store.
83, quai de Valmy
T +33 (0) 22.214.171.124.00
Mrs Jacques Bonsergent 
Mrs Republic [3, 5, 8, 9, 11]
M ° Gare de l'Est [4, 5, 7]
Alibert bus 
Richerand Avenue Bus 
Bus Jacques Bonsergent [56,65]
Wikimedia Commons: Alexander Baxevanis
NOTE: Now closed! ALAS! Founded in 1977, this bookstore is a resource for language learning and teaching. You can find books in over 200 languages! Attica also has a special section of materials for French as a Foreign Language (FLE).
Berkeley Books of Paris
Opened by former employees of the San Francisco Book Company, this is another creative place to discover used books. Love the friendliness of the owners and staff.
8 Rue Casimir-Delavigne, 75006 Paris
Metro - Odéon Métro
Photo courtesy Berkeley Books of Paris
A new bookstore (opened in 2013). Features books in several languages.
98 av Ledru Rollin, 75011 PARIS
Tel : 01 48 05 30 09
Photo Wikimedia Commons: Mitch Altman
Books, stationery, cardmaking, and more. This used to be an American bookstore chain, owned by Waldenbooks/Borders. It was reopened in 2010 by an Iranian businessman.
37 BC. Opera
Tel. : 01 42 60 87 37
Fax: 01 42 60 80 43
Photo flickr cc: Monica Arellano-Ongpin
I love my Blender
Books and gifts. Since there is no website, here’s a great article about it: http://myparisianlife.com/2013/04/23/paris-bookstore-i-love-my-blender/
Address: 36, rue du Temple, 75003, Paris
Hours: Tues–Sat, 10 am – 7 pm
Telephone: +33 (0)1 42 77 50 32
Nearest Metro Stop: Hôtel de Ville 1 11
i love my blender by Cody and Maureen, on Flickr cc
Les Mots a la Bouche
Bookstore featuring gay and lesbian publications, many in English.
6 rue Sainte Croix la Bretonnerie
+33 1 42 78 88 30
Wikimedia Commons: Ecelan
Librairie Ars Una
A bookstore that sells English books – and comics! Selection of stationery, as well.
126 bd Malesherbes
Paris Métro : Malesherbes ou Monceau
tel : 01.42.27.23.87
fax : 01.42.27.04.88
3 @ Malhesherbes
Photo: Ars Una
Most of the books are in French, however there is a wide English selection (including children’s books). Also stationery, pens, school books and school supplies, and more.
118, rue de la Pompe 75116 Paris
tel: 01 47 27 31 31
fax: 01 47 04 63 02
Photo: Librairie Lamartine
Founded by Catherine Domain, this is a travel library that was the world’s first travel bookshop. It is known for the Cargo Club, a monthly meeting (first Wednesday, 6:30pm) for travelers to meet. Large selection of maps, National Geographics, and books in many languages.
ULYSSES LIBRARY kilometer zero of the world
14h-20 pm Closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday
26, rue Saint Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris, France
Tel: 33 - (0) 143 251 735 - Fax: 33 - (0) 143295210
Wikimedia Commons: Mitch Altman
Small bookstore and dvd rental. Plenty of cute gifts, too.
9 Rue de Ferrare, 77300 Fontainebleau, France
Phone:+33 1 64 22 85 85
San Francisco Book Company
Founded in 1997, you can find this bookstore on the Left Bank. Selling mostly used books, it’s a treasure trove – and affordable. Visit their website to get a glimpse of the riches that await; visit to be engaged in booktalk with creative, smart people.
17 rue Monsieur le Prince
From outside France: 33 1-43-29-15-70)
Métro: Odéon (Line 4 or Line 10)
Wikimedia commons: Mitch Altman
Bookstores that carry some English books, or are chains:
The Book Cellar
23, rue Jean de Beauvais, 75005 Paris
Phone: 01 46 34 62 03
Bookstore Centre Pompidou
Alas, some beloved bookstores have closed, including Red Wheelbarrow, Tea and Tattered Pages, and The Village Voice.
Where will you go to read, next?
From Shakespeare and Company by Kathleen Conklin, on Flickr cc