There are many bookstores of different styles in Paris, but the Shakespeare and Company is something a little different, really unique!
In Paris you can find an English bookstore, that has been drawing intellectuals and book lovers through it's doors for more than 50 years, thanks to its wide range of literature and crazy decor!
There are many incredible bookstores around the world to visit while travelling with HostelsClub. Today we want to take you with us to the magnificent Paris, where we found a bookstore that is one of a kind.
We're talking about the Shakespeare and Company, and today we want to tell you its story along with some of it's best Instagram photos.
The shop is hidden in the Heart of Paris, near St. Michael's square, on the opposite side of the Seine from Notre Dame Cathedral. If you stumble upon Ville Lumiere, it is very likely that you will also pass through these streets, but make sure you do not miss the little Rue de la B ûcherie, where since 1951 artists and book lovers have been meeting at the wonderful Shakespeare and Company, which can be found at number 37.
Originally the Shakespeare and Company were founded in 1919 at 8 rue Dupuytren, later on moving to 12 rue de l'Odéon. It was run by Sylvia Beach, an American immigrant who wanted to create not only a library of texts in English, but also as a reading room and, moreover, as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals. In the 1920s, this place was visited by celebrities such as James Joyce, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and Ernest Hemingway (he printed books in English during the censorship period along with Joyce).
In December 1941, Paris was occupied by Nazi Germany and the library was forced to close. Unfortunately, it was never reopened at rue de l'odéon, but in 1951 George Whitman took the lead and opened a bookstore, adhering to the same ideals (it is not surprising then that the store became a place for Beat Generation legends such as Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs). The store was originally called Le Mistral, but since October 1962, on the occasion of the death of Sylvia Beach, Whitman changed the name, as a tribute to Ginsberg, to the Shakespeare and Company…
Today, the bookstore is run by Whitman's daughter and continues to fascinate intellectuals, tourists and literature lovers with its Bohemian atmosphere and interiors that are full of life. It has a warm and charming atmosphere, with quotes can be found written across the bookshop: on the walls, on the stairs, on the benches ... the owners challenge you to find them all!
Book vendors also organize weekly activities such as Sunday-Tea, live readings or meetings with artists and writers (who can also obtain a place to sleep in exchange for a few hours of work in the bookstore). This is a magical place where you can find big and small masterpieces of English literature and where you can meet people of any status (as shown in the photo below!).
Photo by @susy_milla
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