There are many bookshops in Paris, but the Shakespeare and Company is really unique!
There are many incredible bookshops around the world to visit during your travels with HostelsClub, and so today we want to take you to splendid Paris where we have discovered a bookshop that is one of a kind.
We're talking about the Shakespeare and Company, and in this article, we want to tell you it's story and show you some pictures of it from Instagram.
- Photo from Instagram of @miss_ginger_88 -
We find ourselves in the hear of Pairs, near the area of St.Miche, on the opposite side of the Seine from the Cathedral of Notre Dame. If you go by the Ville Lumiere then it is very likely that you will also go through this area, but make sure you don't miss the little Rue de la Bûcherie, where, since 1951, artists and book lovers have met at the wonderful Shakespeare and Company, found at number 37.
- Instagram photo by @acecampbell27 -
The original Shakespeare and Company dates back to 1919 and was initially located at 8 rue Dupuytren, and later at 12 rue de l'Odéon. It was run by Sylvia Beach, an American immigrant who immediately thought of the place not only as a library of texts in English but also as a reading room and more generally a meeting point for artists and intellectuals. In the 1920s it was, in fact, frequented by celebrities such as James Joyce, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, and Ernest Hemingway (who printed books in English during the period of censorship along with Joyce).
- Instagram photo by @patrick__lynch -
In December 1941 Paris was occupied by Nazi Germany and the library was forced to close. Unfortunately, it would never re-open at the rue de l'Odéon headquarters, but in 1951 George Whitman took over the baton and opened a bookshop with the same ideals (not surprisingly then it became a place frequented by Beat Generation myths like Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs) in the site that still exists today: initially it was called Le Mistral, but since October 1962, on the occasion of the death of Sylvia Beach, it paid homage by changing its name to Shakespeare and Company.
- Instagram photo by @travel_life_of_brian -
Today the bookshop is run by Whitman's daughter and continues to fascinate intellectuals, simple tourists and literary fans with its bohemian atmosphere and its interiors which are full of life. it boasts a warm environment, full of charm and with quotations that pop up where you least expect: on the walls, on the stairs, on the benches and ... see if you can discover them all!
To make the environment even more interesting weekly events such as "Sunday Tea", readings, or meetings with artists and writers (who can also count on a place to sleep in exchange for a few hours of work in the bookshop). In short, it's a magical place to find small and large masterpieces of English literature and where you can meet all kinds of people (as shown in the photo below!).
- Instagram photo by @susy_milla -