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7 Famous English Bookstores in Paris That Will Amaze You

Looking for English bookstores in Paris to visit? This post will show you all the charming Paris bookstores not to miss plus where to find them and what to expect!

From smelling new books as you sip on your cinnamon latte, chatting with the charming couple who has owned the local bookstore all their life, browsing through the art and photography books that describe people and places with such ease, to reading through literature classics many of which were written by writers that often traveled to Paris for inspiration, browsing Paris bookshops is as interesting as any other activity in the city!

It’s almost a crime to visit the city that has not only been a source of inspiration but even a home for some of the world’s greatest writers and not spend some time at its charming bookshops.

bookstores in Paris with English books

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But as an English speaker, I know that you would like to browse bookstores that are in a language that you understand!

Whether you want to pick up a classic book to treat as a souvenir, just want to see how a city that is synonymous with writers organizes its books, this post will show you the most famous English bookstores in Paris, where to find them, and what all they have to offer!

So read on to discover the best Paris English bookstores that add to the city’s charm.

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)  

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Famous English Bookstores in Paris

1. Shakespeare & Company

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

One of the most-loved English language bookstores in Paris is Shakespeare & Company!

Located on the left bank of the Seine, the bookshop was established in 1951 (following the footsteps of Sylvia Beach’s bookstore of the same name from 1919) by the famous bookseller George Whitman.

The store is popular across the city as it houses classics, new bestsellers, and limited editions of books that are unlikely to be found elsewhere.

The best part is that any book purchase comes with the bookstore’s original stamp which makes for a perfect souvenir to take back home.

Besides the unique books on their shelves, the bookstore celebrates writers and helps aid their hardships by providing them with a place to stay if they’re struggling.

On top of that, Shakespeare & Company organizes several events like book readings from famous authors.

The independent bookstore also has a café (which is one of the cute cafes in Paris ) where you can catch up with a friend or sip on a cappuccino as you begin your new book.

Just a few steps away from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Shakespeare & Company was not only famous back in the day hosting famous writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, but even today, it is the most famous Paris English bookstore for both book lovers and tourists who just want to see why everyone is talking about it.

2. The Red Wheelbarrow

Address: 9 rue de Medicis, 75006, Paris, France

If you’re searching for a chic Paris English bookstore, look no further than the Red Wheelbarrow!

This literary establishment is situated in the 6th Arrondissement near the famous Jardin du Luxembourg and houses a wide range of classics and contemporary English literature, and poetry.

The bookstore used to be located in Marais in the 2000s and then unexpectedly shut down. It was however re-established in the fall of 2018 and since then has created a community of book lovers and literary enthusiasts.

The iconic blue-painted bookshop was named after the famous poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams, first published in Lyon, France.

Be sure to get a couple of books of your choice, grab a box of macrons, and read as the sun goes down in the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg for the quintessential Parisian evening!

3. Taschen

Address: 2 Rue de Buci, 75006 Paris, France

Located in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th Arrondissement is one of the unique English bookstores in Paris, Taschen!

This one-of-a-kind bookstore is well-known across the city for its expansive collection of books on various topics like film, music, travel, photography, art, and even Paris guide books.

An artist’s paradise if they’re looking for some inspiration from the greats or to learn more about their art in general, Taschen also offers books in other languages like French and Germany.

The books may be slightly pricey compared to other Paris bookstores but they’re indeed some of the finest you’ll find.

It’s a great place to scout for coffee table books, pick out books on Paris, and other literary material that can double as decor in the house.

But don’t be compelled to carry them back home since they can be really heavy; you can just order them online on their website.

4. The Abbey Bookshop

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

There are plenty of bookstores in Paris with English books, but one of the best is the Abbey Bookshop! Actually, it comes right after Shakespeare & Company for being famous.

Founded in 1989 by Brian Spence a Canadian, this quaint delightful bookshop is covered in books in every little corner! Though precariously arranged, it is a true reader’s paradise.

It sells both new and second-hand books that are in excellent condition but for slightly discounted prices plus newly released books that can’t be found anywhere else.

The bookstore feels like a tiny old-time bookstore out of a Parisian movie, so if you’re in the area, be sure to make your way through its tiny corridors, get a bag of books, and walk over to the banks of the Seine for a perfect book-filled afternoon!

5. Smith & Son Paris (Formerly WHSmith Paris)

Address: 248, Rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris

If you’re searching for one of the most incredible English bookstores in Paris, walk over to the beautiful Rue de Rivoli and enter Smith & Son Paris!

Established in 1903 and a branch of the famous Smith & Son bookstore in England, Smith & Son Paris is a two-story building with the first floor fully occupied by various classics, new bestsellers (hot off the press), magazines, travel guides, children’s books, and more.

The second floor is home to a typical British tearoom and an assortment of British and American snacks perfect to grab a bite when you’re done browsing.

The bookstore often holds author events and book readings, which is a great way to learn more about any book, author, or plot and meet up with other book lovers!

6. San Francisco Book Company

Address:17 rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 Paris, France

Located in the Latin Quater, close to some of the other bookstores on this list is the San Francisco Book Company.

A pop of color amongst the otherwise gray Parisian street, the bold red exterior of this store definitely catches anyone’s eyes.

The bookstore sells second-hand books, most of which are classics, limited editions of classics, or books from a different decade.

The joint has books stacked from end-to-end, and browsing through every section could easily take you hours.

Ideally, if you don’t have a specific book or even genre in mind and would like to be surprised by a book, or ten, head over to this charming bookstore, and you’ll not regret it one bit!

7. Librairie Galignani

Address: 224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Believed to be the oldest English bookstore in Paris, Librairie Galignani was established back in 1801 and is located on Rue de Rivoli near Palace de la Concorde, one of the landmarks of Paris.

Though the name is Italian, this iconic bookstore has a vast collection of classic and modern literature in both English and French.

It looks like the quintessential Parisian bookstore, with fine Haussmanian architecture, old-time charm, and a delightful wooden staircase that will lead you to the upper stories of the store.

Also, you’ll be able to find a plethora of coffee-table books that can be used as fashionable decor for the house!

Final thoughts on the Best Paris English Bookstores

Amongst all the things to do in Paris, exploring its bookstores is one of the rewarding experiences, and these top 7 English bookstores in Paris will impress you, surprise you, and leave you with a bag full of books that will enlighten you.

Whether you choose to visit a second-hand bookstore or one where you can have a coffee as you read, these brilliant bookstores of Paris will make you fall in love with them and the city! 


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more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads.

Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris

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