Shakespeare and Company Stole My Heart

*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!

29 Comments on Shakespeare and Company Stole My Heart

  1. Christine
    March 5, 2012 at 3:01 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve read about it, walked by it…but somehow I’ve never been inside! And after looking at your photos, I’m *almost* glad…if I had gone in, I probably never would have left. Ever.

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 11:56 am (3 years ago)

      Trust me, you’d never, ever want to leave. When you go back this summer, GO!!!

      Reply
  2. Jen
    March 5, 2012 at 5:08 am (3 years ago)

    LOVE the photos, so beautiful – really tells a story! xx

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 11:56 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much Jen!

      Reply
  3. Audrey
    March 5, 2012 at 7:30 am (3 years ago)

    Ahh, it looks divine! I love Paris’ rich literary history, it just warms my heart – this coming from someone who always has her nose in a book. :) AND I moved into my apartment this week and discovered that the previous teacher left behind a small collection of classics!

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm (3 years ago)

      How awesome!!! I joked with Johnny that I wanted to throw away my Kindle in favor of getting all of the vintage classics.

      Reply
  4. Nailah
    March 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm (3 years ago)

    I remember wandering through there and eventually buying a copy of Out of Africa. Great pictures – makes we want to go back ASAP!

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you! Lets all go back together!

      Reply
  5. Naomi
    March 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm (3 years ago)

    Ummm I definitely had a bookgasm looking at your pictures. They are DIVINE! I can’t believe I’ve been to Paris twice and have never been here!

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm (3 years ago)

      *GASP* You need to fix that girl!!! It’s a book lover’s paradise!

      Reply
  6. Jayla
    March 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm (3 years ago)

    I get all giddy in bookstores too. Honestly, I would probably have TWO heart attacks if I ever got to visit Shakespeare & Company. *sigh*

    Gorgeous photos. Awesome topic.

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much Jayla!

      Reply
  7. Aashiana
    March 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm (3 years ago)

    Your pictures are lovely! Shakespeare & Company is definitely on my “to do” list when I visit Paris!!

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm (3 years ago)

      When are you going?!?!?!

      Reply
  8. Ayngelina
    March 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh why can’t we have places like that in North America, I would love a bookstore like this.

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm (3 years ago)

      RIGHT!?!?! That’s all I kept thinking the whole time. Our bookstores are so modern and cold. Not warm, cozy, historic….*sigh*

      Reply
  9. Ceri
    March 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh, Sheryll, visiting Shakespeare & Co has been on my bucket list for the longest time. Just seeing your photos of it brought tears to my eyes.

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm (3 years ago)

      You’re going to get to go girl!!!!! And when you do, all the time you waited will be worth it.

      Reply
  10. Patricia GW
    March 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm (3 years ago)

    I love Shakespeare & Co! You took gorgeous photos of the place, it captures a piece of its bookworm and creative spirit. It seems like just yesterday I was standing in front of those doors, listening to a Lorin Stein of the Paris Review presenting. I hope you and Johnny do go back right after Korea – Paris has a way of stealing your heart ?

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm (3 years ago)

      *sigh* lets move back okay? I have a year in Korea…then PARIS! We can do it!

      Reply
  11. Alexandra the Tsaritsa
    March 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm (3 years ago)

    I’ve wanted to go here ever since reading A Moveable Feast! Looks like a great shop– similar to City Lights in its homeiness. Great photos, thank you for sharing :)

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you Alexandra!

      Reply
  12. pntszdinFluence
    March 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm (3 years ago)

    This store sounds so lovely. I will definitely have to visit when I go to Paris. And the quote by Eileen Myles is everything!

    Reply
    • Sheryll
      March 10, 2012 at 9:13 pm (3 years ago)

      it’s the best store ever. I want to live there LOL!

      Reply
  13. Edna
    March 24, 2012 at 4:37 am (3 years ago)

    These photos make me feel bad for not visiting yet! Thanks for sharing and giving me the kick I need to get out and explore this bookworm’s dream!

    Reply
  14. Ellen
    September 5, 2012 at 3:43 am (2 years ago)

    Hi! Really beautiful and awesome pictures! I was in Paris last month and as a book and literature lover, of course I visited Shakespeare and Company – even twice. It stole my heart too. Your photos, also your other pictures of Paris and Versailles, are really really great. Thank you for sharing! Wish I could take such pictures myself.

    Reply

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Shakespeare and Company Stole My Heart

  1. [...] photos of Shakespeare and Company, check out Sheryll of The Wanderlust Project’s recap here. I was able to enjoy myself and fall in love with the tiny shop even with the history lesson [...]

  2. [...] photos of Shakespeare and Company, check out Sheryll of The Wanderlust Project’s recap here. I was able to enjoy myself and fall in love with the tiny shop even with the history lesson [...]

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