*sigh* Oh Shakespeare and Company. What can I say about the bookstore that completely stole my heart?
So a little history. The first Shakespeare and Co. was opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach and was frequented by many famous writers such as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Earnest Hemingway. It was closed in 1941 due to the German occupation of Paris and was never reopened. Then, in 1951, George Whitman opened a bookstore called Le Mistral, and in 1964 when Sylvia Beach passed away, he named his bookstore Shakespeare and Company in memorial of her famous bookstore. It’s now a badass English language bookstore, library, and sleeping quarters (13 beds apparently!), and it’s EVERYFUCKINGTHING.
I’m the biggest book nerd of life, I think I get giddy walking into a regular ol’ Barnes and Noble. But Shakespeare and Co.?! DREAMY. Think rows and rows of beautiful vintage books, a typewriter to write poems, old couches, exposed wooden beams, creaky floorboards, and just…charming. They only allow pictures upstairs in the ‘library’, but downstairs you can find all of the new books that are available for purchase. When you buy a book, they even put a stamp on the inside for you! It’s the best. place. ever.
Yup, Shakespeare and Co. is everything. It’s easily one of my favorite places in Paris, and that’s saying something. The library upstairs is super quiet, and perfect for settling in for a classic book. It’s across the river from Notre Dame, so if you’re in Paris…just go. If you’ve already been to Paris and gone to Shakespeare and Co., go again for me.
I seriously dream of Paris daily. That city changed both Johnny and I. I was talking to him last night on gchat and he is already trying to figure out how we can get there after our year in Korea. And hey, I’m not complaining!