Paris. Bookstore. Love. (Part 1 of 2.)

If you love Paris, if you love bookstores, or if you love books, then this video is for you.

With a cameo appearance in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset, Shakespeare and Company is arguably the most iconic bookshop in the French capital. The building, a 17th century ex-monastery has become a landmark in the 5th arrondissement. Apart from being a bookstore, it also serves as a haven where aspiring writers can stay for free – Allen Ginsberg and Anaïs Nin have both been guests in the past. Originally established in 1919 by an American named Sylvia Beach, fellow expatriate George Whitman took over Shakespeare and Company after Beach’s death in 1951.

Before you purchase your airline ticket to France to visit this bookstore, count the number of different typewriters that are in this video, just for fun, then click here for information about The TYPEWRITER Art and Poetry project.


Paris. Bookstore. Love.


  1. These are great videos to view…thanks for sharing them. I love libraries and old bookstores and hope we don’t lose them! What an interesting story!

    1. A cookbook store! Thank you very much. Contrary to common belief, cookbooks are actually good for anyone on a diet. Much fewer calories in reading about wonderful food and looking at beautiful pictures of food, rather than eating. (As for us, we are not on a diet and wholeheartedly read, look, cook, bake and consume heartily.) Here’s a bit about Librairie Gourmande in English for those who need to polish up their French (or get some French to begin with). Delightful!

  2. I adore this magical store. If you look at my earlier posts on you will find a post on Shakespeare and Company. Further more, when George Whitman passed away in December, I posted a memoriam to him. If you would like to learn more about this shop and the man behind it, I highly recommend ” Time Was Soft There” by Jeremy Mercer. This young man actually spend several months living in the shop. It is a good read.
    I was thrilled when the took my first poetry chapbook to add to The Poet’s Corner. Thanks for showcasing my favourite bookstore.


  3. The shop was even visited by Craig Ferguson when his Late Night show spent a bit of time lounging around Paris for a change of pace. For being a fixed location, the bookstore sure does get around! (Not that that couldn’t be a good analogy for books and all things associated with them anyway . . . . ) 🙂

    1. It would be delightful to be there in person, but short of that, the virtual visit via WordPress via YouTube was delightful. Short, but sweet. (Note to self: Visit City Lights Bookstore on next trip to San Francisco.)

  4. Thank you for this post. I recently watched Midnight in Paris and loved the literary references.I did not realize that this bookstore was for real. The movie has inspired me to visit Paris one day. And of course this bookstore will be on my list of places to visit.

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