I love Paris.
I love Paris any time of year, but especially on a sunny late-spring day. This year my first Glam Italia Tour actually started in Paris. I had forgotten just how much I love this amazing city!
I flew Air France from Los Angeles, and as always was really impressed with the service. How do their flight attendants always look so glamorous??
One of the first stops I always make in Paris is at Shakespeare and Company, one of the most unique and infamous bookstores in the world.
Since 1951, Shakespeare and Company has inhabited some of the most prime real estate in all of Paris. It takes up a half block of the Latin Quarter on Rue de la Bucherie, across from the Seine, a stone’s throw from Notre Dame.
The bookstore is legendary. Writers have gathered there since the beginning, and it has been described as the focal point of literary culture in bohemian Paris.
Cots are secreted away between bookshelves and aspiring writers are invited to sleep for free in exchange for helping out around the store. They are supposed to read a book per day and leave a one page autobiography for the store’s archives.
Cats wander around at home with the books.
What I have always loved about Shakespeare’s is that it invites you to take your time, wander around, pick up books and look through them.
The shop is owned by a human, not a conglomerate, no marketing department has laid the experience out for you, it is as organic of a literary experience as you can get.
There are both new and used books at Shakespeare’s, so everyone can get books.
The books are in English, and I like to drop in at the beginning of my trip and stock up on my holiday reading.
I had time up my sleeve this time, so I bought some books and then wandered next door to the Shakespeare and Company cafe, and sat outside in the sunshine with a cafe au lait and my new Jonathan Kellerman.