Genuine institution, the Shakespeare and Company is both a café and a bookstore in English only. Set across Notre-Dame, the bookstore has been the place to be for English-speaking writers since 1951. American bookstore-keeper George Whitman made it a landmark for literature lovers.
More than your average bookstore, it is also like a small hotel for authors, intellectuals, and artists of the time who could stay there for a few nights to encourage imagination. William Burroughs, Anaïs Nin, Richard Wright, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrel and James Baldwin settled there. Today, beds and furniture are part of the staging, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of books covering the walls of the bookstore. The store also houses memories of generations of writers and travelers from the past century.
Although you are guaranteed to find old books – especially Shakespeare’s books – the bookstore also provides a young station and literary events. English-speaking writers can meet with their readers, for free. If you are lucky enough, you might see the little cat living there and making every heart melt with delight!
But there is no great reading session without a nice cup of coffee and an indulging pastry, is it? George Whitman knew readers well and this is why he also wanted to open a small literary café by the bookstore. A wish that only became true in 2015 with wonderful panoramic views on Notre-Dame. One can enjoy coffee from Café Lomi, tea from Postcard Teas London, as well as pastries from Bob’s Bake Shop. Several of the latter are vegetarian. As for us, we went for a hearty slice of apple pie, just delicious!
So, how about enjoying a good book and a tasty pastry in front of Notre-Dame?
Dates and Opening Time
From 19 October 2021 to 19 October 2022
Shakespeare & company
37 Rue de la Bûcherie
75005 Paris 5
Métro Saint-Michel (ligne 4 et RER C)