Find out where to surround yourself with books in the City of Light.
SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY, 5TH
Regularly ranking among the world’s top bookshops, this English-language store on Rue de la Bûcherie has gained a cult following among bibliophiles. Its original incarnation in the 6th arrondissement was frequented by the likes of Ezra Pound and James Joyce before it closed during the German occupation of Paris. The present-day Shakespeare and Company was opened in 1951 by American George Whitman and is now run by his daughter Sylvia. As well as selling new releases, it does a roaring trade in second-hand and antiquarian tomes. Look out for the beds tucked between the bookshelves; here sleep the Tumbleweeds, young creatives given free accommodation by the shop in return for writing and a couple of hours’ work each day. 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris Métro: Saint-michel-notre-dame (Line 4) shakespeareandcompany.com
LA BELLE HORTENSE, 4TH
Where else but Paris would you find a bookshop open until 2am? Part librarie, part bar, this blue-fronted boutique in the Marais innovatively fuses the joys of a captivating novel and a divine glass of wine. Opened in 1997, it shares the same owners as the renowned Le Petit Fer à Cheval opposite, one of France’s smallest bars. Browse shelf after shelf of classic French and English novels before settling onto a stool with your read of choice and a drink from the immense wine list. Enjoy different author signings and readings every week, plus there are monthly art exhibitions to peruse. 31 Rue Vieille-du-temple, 75004 Paris Métro: Hôtel de Ville (Lines 1 or 11) or Saint-paul (Line 1) cafeine.com
Intriguing passers-by along the Canal Saint-martin is this scarlet bookshop specialising in art and design books: photography, architecture, graphic design, graffiti and more. If you’re looking for a new book to take pride of place on your coffee table, this is the place to go. You can also pick up a great poster or print for your wall, invest in a retro Polaroid camera or marvel at the latest photographs being exhibited, which highlight both established and new talent. 83 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris Métro: Jacques Bonsergent (Line 5) artazart.com