Shakespeare and Company
Paris Bookstore 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, FR
Paris Café 35 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, FR
- Known as a gathering place for writers and readers for 70 years.
- A network of rooms with nooks for "Tumbleweeds".
- A café with views of Notre Dame Cathedral.
37 Rue de la Bûcherie
35 Rue de la Bûcherie
WHAT WE LOVE
Shakespeare and Company is an English-language bookshop in the Latin Quarter of Paris. One of the world’s most famous bookshops, Shakespeare and Company sits on the banks of the Seine, with views of Notre Dame Cathedral. Known as a gathering place for writers and readers for almost seventy years, the bookstore is must-visit when in Paris, but go early as a line and crowds start gathering before it opens.
Founded by George Whitman in 1951, he lived by the motto "be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise”. Writers, artists, and intellectuals welcomed to sleep for free among the shelves. The walls are a testament to the many notable writers who have nestled among the books, decorated with portraits and notes of the shops’s famous patrons. These guests became known as Tumbleweeds and to date the shop has hosted approximately 30,000 Tumbleweeds. A program that continues today, and anyone can apply by contacting the shop.
Over the years, the shop has grown from one long, narrow room on the ground floor to the labyrinth of rooms and nooks of books, with sleeping areas scattered through out. George said, “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.” The shopfront and rooms are decorated with literary quotes and the history of the bookshop.
When the store first opened, it was called Le Mistral . George changed the name to Shakespeare and Company in April 1964—on the four-hundredth anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and in honor of a bookseller he admired, Sylvia Beach, who’d founded the original Shakespeare and Company bookshop that was in business from 1919 to 1941.
In 2006 Sylvia Whitman, George's daughter, officially took over the running of Shakespeare and Company.
Next door, occupying a corner site at 35 Rue de la Bûcherie, the Shakespeare and Company Café opened in 2015. The Café is a collaboration with local producers Bob's Bake Shop and Café Lomi, serving vegan and vegetarian fare alongside their signature Mélange Shakespeare blend.
“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.”