PARIS : Haven for Book Lovers

Photo of PARIS : Haven for Book Lovers by AAMNA MISHRA

Walk on the streets of Paris and you will come across books at a store, cafe, tucked between narrow streets and stalls at every arrondissement. The city still breathes knowledge where famous writers lived and worked.

Note to all avid readers : Paradise, is the word for these places and you must experience this magic.


I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations. —George Whitman

Photo of Latin Quarter, Paris, France by AAMNA MISHRA

Promise land, this store is like a dream for bibliophiles. Second hand books showcased outside, which qualifies as a great time pass for anyone who's standing in the long cue. More of these books are mainly sold at a discount in Cafe Shakespeare and Company.

Inside the main bookstore, you'll be awe struck by the number of books squeezed in every corner, quotes imprinted on the stairs and walls, and antique items, giving the most vintage atmosphere. Workshops, group readings, annual literary festival and other events are held at the upstairs library.

Make sure to get your books stamped with the Kilometer Zero stamp for a great reminder of your trip. Photography is not allowed inside the store.

Opening hours : 10am - 10pm

Address : 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, France


Get lost in this crowded little maze of books.

Photo of Saint-Michel, Quai Saint Michel, Paris, France by AAMNA MISHRA

Abbey is situated in the heart of Latin Quarter and run by a Canadian, Brian Spence, who's very friendly and helpful. His shop is a great resource for readers searching for otherwise hard to find used and new books. There's literally space for only one person to walk between book shelves. The underground level is so tiny that it's hard for anyone to carry their bags along. Despite these restrictions, the space does not bother it's customers all because of the charming diversity it presents - books piled haphazardly to the ceiling, warm lighting and jazz music playing in the background.

On a side note, the owner graciously offers complimentary hot coffee and green tea for you to enjoy while you browse.

Opening hours : Monday - Saturday, 10am - 7pm

Address : 29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris, France


Each bouquiniste is given four boxes, all of a specified size, and rent is paid only for the stone on which the boxes rest.

Photo of Seine River, France by AAMNA MISHRA

Bouquiniste are mainly book sellers who've made their base at the pavement along the Seine river. It was once said that the Seine is the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves. Along with used and rare books they also keep old magazines, stamps, souvenirs, magnets, posters and postcards in open green boxes, as per the tourist demand. Make sure you walk these pavements while visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Opening hours : Depends on the area you're visiting

Address : Located on the Right Bank, from Pont Marie to Quai du Louvre, and on the Left Bank, from Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire


Located in the heart of the trendy neighbourhood of Le Marais

Photo of Le Marais, Paris, France by AAMNA MISHRA

A concept store which sells everything from designer home decor, branded clothes, accessories to stationary, books and a cafe. It's a non-profit company that provides funds to support education in Madagascar. Perfect stop for gifts and unique items. Higher on the monetary side but you won't be let down by the quality of their goods.

The cafe entrance has an entire wall covered with bookshelves. So window shop if you don't want to spend much, sip on hot chocolate and read at your own leisure.

Opening hours : Monday - Saturday, 10:00am - 7:30pm

Address : 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France


One of the oldest gems in the city

Photo of Galerie Vivienne, Rue de la Banque, Paris, France by AAMNA MISHRA

Inaugurated in 1826, Galeries Vivienne, a covered passage merely created as a shopping arcade is home to this bookstore. Old and used manuscripts, books and postal cards placed inside and outside with a large range of french selection.

Opening hours : Monday - Saturday, 11:00am - 7:00pm

Address : 45-46-47, Galerie Vivienne Vivienne Gallery - 75002 Paris, France