For Some Old Fashioned Shakespeare Charm, Head to Paris’ Left Bank


Everyone has heard of Shakespeare, but you don’t necessarily think of him first when you think of Paris. At least I don’t, having spent years living in London and significant time hanging out in Paris over the years.

In 1951, George Whitman decided to open a bookstore that would be a sanctuary for writers, aspiring writers and artists and called it Shakespeare+Company. It has since grown from a bookstore into an institution and is known around the world.

The bookstore is located on 37 Rue de la Bucherie and they are open every day all day. The location couldn’t be more ‘romantic,’ situated in the heart of Paris on the Left Bank opposite Notre-Dame in the Latin Quarter, which is where I stayed during my last trip over in December.

They have various book readings and workshops and you can apparently crash  for the night if you’re a writer or aspiring one in exchange for a write-up or something to that effect.

I often meander into the bookstore whenever I go to Paris, mainly depending on where I spend most of my time on that particular trip.

Last trip, I spent very little time in the Latin Quarter or the Marais and this time, I spent most of my time there and didn’t venture north to Montmartre or south to any of the burbs once.

I always find the place charming and the books are….yes, in English, which is odd to browse through when everything and everyone else around you is in French.

Of course, when I’m there, I want to practice my French and yet, I am always intrigued to see what is on the Shakespeare and Company’s shelves at any given time. And it’s not just the books themselves, but the ambiance/atmosphere.

The shop is a mishmash of everything really….just have a look. From vertical and horizontal cases to books propped up on top shelves protruding to the ceiling, the place is eclectic, charming, disorganized and organized all at the same time. If you travel to Paris, this is a must-stop even if you’re not a writer. The below photos should captivate you enough to make an extra trip.




































Yes, there’s even an upstairs. While the below shot may be grainy, you get the idea. It’s charming.













































If traveling to Paris, check out some of the Paris hotels we’ve covered in the past as well as this section on WBTW and for food/wine in Paris.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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