Last summer I went to Paris with my grandmother and oldest brother and one of the places we visited was the famous English bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but believe me when I tell you it was wonderful. Books everywhere, stacked to the ceiling, in all kinds of genres. It does get crowded – we were there at the end of the afternoon, but I think you might be ahead of the crowds if you go in the morning (if you’ve been at Shakespeare & Co. when it was less crowded, leave a comment!).
Next to the main store is a separate second-hand section, and next to that a small café. From the café you can see the Notre-Dame de Paris which is right across the Seine!
(Not a great picture but it gives you an idea of how close to Notre-Dame the bookstore is – and how crowded this area of Paris is in summer.)
It’s worth to buy a book at Shakespeare & Co. if only to get it stamped with their logo. That way any books you get there are basically souvenirs. Though of course I don’t doubt they’ll have at least one book you like, so the stamp won’t be the only reason you buy it! They also have many events there. I was only in Paris for a few days, so I didn’t go to any (I don’t even know if there were any during my stay), but it might be worth to take a look at what they have planned if you go to Paris for a longer time.
Above you can see the three books I bought at Shakespeare & Co.: Ariel by Sylvia Plath, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (opened to show the stamped title page) and The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
I love going to bookstores in any city I visit. It’s probably not good for my wallet, but a book makes for a wonderful souvenir.