Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company

I spent a semester abroad in Europe last year, and it was the best experience of my life. Two of my friends and I went to Paris during our spring break, and while it was absolutely wonderful- I mean, it was PARIS!- we felt a little homesick. One day we were wandering around near Notre Dame trying to find our metro stop when, completely out of the blue, the name of this bookstore caught my eye. We were tired and grumpy and all of us were English majors, so we decided to walk in just to feel a little more at home. This was a habit, you see- there’s something horribly comforting about bookstores, even if the books aren’t in your language.

Imagine our complete shock and joy when we realized that it was an English bookstore. An English bookstore in Paris- it must have been divine intervention because it was exactly what we needed.

We were only in Paris for three days, but we returned to Shakespeare and Company as often as we could. I can’t even begin to describe the magic of the place. People left notes on every surface available; it was amazing to read the stories of other travelers who had been there before us.

If you’re ever in Paris and feeling a little lonely, hopefully you’ll accidentally stumble upon this store like my friends and I did. It really helps you realize that you are not alone.



January 3, 2013 · 11:32 pm

14 responses to “Shakespeare and Company

  1. Oh yes, I heard about this place a while ago. It actually has quite a history to it. The owner was quite a character. Sadly, I’ve not visited it, but it seems worth going to Paris just for this little gem.

  2. Had a very similar experience my first trip to Paris. The original owner published Joyce’s “Ulysses”, some of which he wrote up on the creaky second floor. Hemingway also holed up here. Lots of literary ghosts wandering the stacks. Great memory. Thanks!

    • Wow. I had no idea. I just completely stumbled upon it by accident. Next time I go (if I ever earn enough money to go back!) I’ll definitely appreciate it more, considering it houses so many famous writers who I adore.

  3. One of my favorite things to do with my husband on vacation is to visit bookstores. We’ve been to several ‘no-namers’ as well as Powell’s in Portland, Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle, The Strand and McNally Jackson in NYC and 826 Valencia in San Francisco – I DEFINITELY want to get to Paris one day and I hope to add Shakespeare and Company to our list. This is a great post πŸ™‚ Sounds like such a wonderful time!

  4. I came here on a grade 10 trip with my school. All my friends were bored, of course, but my eyes popped out of their sockets. One of the most cozy bookstores I’ve ever been to – and I even took a picture of one quote they had there that hangs on my wall and guides me to this day: “Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be strangers in disguise.”

    Lovely. Just a lovely place.

  5. Hannah Rose

    I love this bookstore! It reminded me of one of those stores in Harry Potter. Our visit ended up with my friend playing a tune on a piano we found in one of the rooms upstairs. I had almost forgotten about it until I saw this post!

  6. PD

    My friend took me there! If I remember correctly a descendant of Walt Whitman…definitely some well-known English-speaking author…started it up πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s