7+ English Language Bookstores in Paris

Brick and stone arcade with shops in Paris.
Shady arcade along the Rue de Rivoli that houses two English language bookstores in Paris. © Laurel Decher, 2017.

This post is for all you readers of English language books who are living in or visiting Paris. Maybe you need a book for the plane home or presents for your English-speaking grandchildren. Or you just need to browse English books for a while before returning to your adopted home in Europe.

Shakespeare & Company

This famous bookstore has a whole wall of shiny middle grade and young adult books and a tiny picture book nook. Upstairs there’s a bookshelf-lined library for readings. The cushioned window seat goes all the way around the room. Lots of atmosphere and the Seine’s right outside.

Métro: St. Michel

Abbey Bookshop

This tiny store near Shakespeare & Company sells used books in a maze-like store. The children’s books are in the back and fans and soft classical music helps the whole place feel a bit less claustrophobic. The shelves are so full of books and the aisles are so tiny, that it’s challenging to see the titles lower down. The staff is friendly and will help you.

Métro: Odeon

Bookstore with Canadian flag and used books stacked outside on the pavement.
The overflowing Abbey Bookshop in Paris. © Laurel Decher, 2017.

Librairie Galignani

We all enjoyed this elegant and comfortable bookstore with leather reading chairs and spacious aisles. It’s near the Tuilleries gardens on an arcade-covered avenue so getting there is comfortable, rain or shine. Their English language young adult section is almost as big as Shakespeare & Company’s. Several books on my list were priced noticeably lower here than at the WHSmith further up the Rue de Rivoli.

Métro: Tuilleries

WHSmith

This British chain bookstore has a generous children’s book section. If you’re looking for books from American publishers, you may have to order them. I found many familiar book friends on the shelves, but not, for example, Megan Whalen Turner’s newest, THICK AS THIEVES. Or any of her earlier Attolia novels.

Métro: Tuilleries

I didn’t get to ALL the English language bookstores in Paris. (What a nice problem to have!) So these are on my list for next time:

Berkeley Books of Paris

San Francisco Book Company

Used Book Café

Gilbert Jeune

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Laurel Decher

LAUREL DECHER writes stories about all things Italian, vegetable, or musical. Beloved pets of the past include "Stretchy the Leech" and a guinea pig that unexpectedly produced twins. She's famous for a nonexistent sense of direction, but carries maps because people always ask her for directions. When she's not lost, she can be found on Twitter and on her blog, This Is An Overseas Post, where she writes about life with her family in Germany. She's still a Vermonter and an epidemiologist at heart. PSA: Eat more kale! :) Her short fiction for adults, UNFORESEEN TIMES, originally appeared in _Windhover_. Photo: © Jane Joo Park, 2017.

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