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Unusual bookshops in Paris: discover bibliophile heaven in the City of Light

Unusual bookshops in Paris: discover bibliophile heaven in the City of Light

Categories : Visit Paris, published on : 10/15/20

Literature has contributed massively to the cultural influence of Paris. This is partly due to the famous authors who were born there, including Zola and Dumas, as well as the books that are set in the city such as Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. During your stay amidst the inspiring streets of Paris, the chic, modern and friendly Hotel Marais Bastille will always be ready to welcome you. To help you soak up the Parisian literary ambiance, we recommend these 4 unusual bookshops.


L'Eau et les Rêves

This evocative name, which means Water and Dreams, is just part of the appeal and original character of this café-bookshop. Its address: 9, Quai de l'Oise. Yes, this bookstore awaits you on a black barge afloat on the waters of the Canal de l’Ourcq! The 1950 barge has been in use as a bookstore for almost 40 years. Its name comes from an essay by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard. It all ties in neatly with the theme of the bookstore; water, the sea and travel. From 13:00 to 19:00, Wednesday to Sunday, you can purchase new and used books, and even documentaries.


La Librairie des Editions PUF

Les Presses Universitaires de France is a publishing house that has acquired great renown in the French-speaking world, particularly in its mission of disseminating knowledge. In 2016, the company opened a bookstore at 60 Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, in the Latin Quarter. This new venture is perfectly aligned with the possibilities of our modern digital era as it’s the first print-on-demand bookstore. There’s no stock at PUF; the customer simply prints off the book they want. It takes just 3 to 6 minutes (time for a quick coffee) thanks to the Espresso Book Machine. The PUF collection offers access to 5,000 books, including new releases from the publishing house as well as millions of titles in the global public domain.


Chez les libraires Associés

Tucked away and accessed via a discreet porte-cochère (covered carriage entrance) at 3, Rue Pierre l´Ermite, Chez les Libraires Associés is a remarkable brand in the world of booksellers. Located in the Goutte d'Or neighbourhood made famous by Emile Zola’s masterpiece, L'Assommoir and specialising in old and rare books and first editions, this bookshop is a treasure trove for collectors, passionate bibliophiles and the simply curious. This bookworm’s emporium also deals in children’s books, illustrated books, and gorgeous editions resplendent in their rich bindings.


Shakespeare & Co

Founded in 1919 by Sylvia Beach, Shakespeare & Co has for a century been the leading English language bookshop in Paris. It was a gathering place for creative minds frequented by the likes of Man Ray, Paul Gide, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. Situated successively on the Rue Dupuytren then the Rue de l'Odéon, it is currently located in the Sorbonne quarter, on the Rue de la Bucherie. Currently owned by Sylvia Whitman, whose father George carried the literary torch of Sylvia Beach, it continues to serve as both a bookstore and a focal point for artists, writers, and intellectuals.



More information:

- L'eau et les rêves
- Librairie des PUF
- Chez les libraires associés
- Shakespeare & Co

Hotel Marais Bastille, a 3-star hotel a few steps from Place de la Bastille