Parisian bookshops off the beaten track

MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - AbbeyParis has a rich literary history, and a plethora of bookshops to honour this heritage. 

Some are well known – such as the Shakespeare and Company bookshop, possibly one of the most famous Parisian bookshops in the world – but the ones that interest us are located far from the beaten track…

So, come with us as we explore the lesser-known literary gems of Paris. How many have you visited?

The Abbey Bookshop

MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - Abbey

So often overshadowed by that other Anglophone bookshop, The Abbey Bookshop will send book-lovers into a delighted trance. With the staff always happy to recommend something from the literature-crammed shelves, this place has a much more personal feel than other tourist saturated shops.

Paris Cheapskate loves The Abbey Bookshop as much as we do, describing the atmosphere as like a rainy day, perfect for curling up with a good book. We can’t think of anything more enchanting.

The Abbey Bookshop
29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005
Métro: Saint-Michel

I Love My Blender

MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - Blender

You might not know it by the name, but this shop is without a doubt one of Paris’ quirkiest and loveliest bookshops. Recommended by The Best Paris Info – which explains how the owner has poured his love of Anglo-literature into this shop – I Love My Blender sells the French translation alongside the original English novel, making it easy to find your favourite books in French.

It also sells a variety of mugs, stationery and candles – perfect gifts and souvenirs for the other book-lovers in your life.

I Love My Blender
36 Rue du Temple, 75004
Métro: Rambuteau


MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - Artazart

An art bookshop, this store has a huge range of visually striking books on an array of different arts – including photography, interior design, and painting.

If you’re interested in art you’ll be struggling to leave. Even if you’re not, we guarantee that you’ll still be drawn in by the huge selection of books, the gallery exhibiting the work of local artists, and the very Parisian, very bohemian, atmosphere.

83 Quai de Valmy, 75010
Métro: Jacques Bonsergent

Librairie 7L

MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - Librairie 7L

Founded by Karl Lagerfeld himself, this bookshop is dedicated to fashion and art, but also houses books on cookery, gardening and landscapes. Nevertheless, fashion is its raison d’être, and so if you love la mode, this is where you should be. We don’t need to tell you that Paris is famous for its fashion, and that is personified in this stylish shop. You won’t find tons of tourists – only locals passionate about the culture of fashion’s favourite city.

Librairie 7L
7 Rue de Lille, 75007
Métro:  Rue du Bac

Violette and Co

MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - Violette and CoWe featured this feminist bookshop in our article on the best bookshops in Paris because it really is one of them. Devoted to promoting both feminist and homosexual issues, Violette and Co is little known but thriving.

You might not find the latest in contemporary fiction, but you will discover more than enough to get you thinking – some of the most pertinent issues and problems in the modern world are featured in the books sold here. With gay marriage being made equal, and feminism stronger than ever, we owe a big thanks to places like Violette and Co.

Violette and Co
102 Rue de Charonne, 75011
Métro: Charonne

Le Pont Traversé

MyFrenchLife™ - Parisian bookshops - le Pont Traverse

This bookshop couldn’t be further off the beaten track – opening at midday and closing at midnight, it seems only nocturnal literature-lovers know about this place. Named after a famous French novel by Jean Paulhan, this bookshop stocks rare books, making it a rare haven. Head over to Messy Nessy Chic for some photos of the shop’s quirky interior.

Le Pont Traversé
62 rue Vaugiraud, 75006
Métro: Saint-Sulpice

What are your favourite Parisian bookshops? Let us know in the comment box below.

Read more on where to find other great Parisian bookstores
1. finding Anglophone bookshops
3. best Parisian bookshops

Image credits:
1. Shakespeare bookshop, by Adams K on Flickr.
2. Abbey bookshop, by Madolan Greene on Flicker.
3. Blender, by Cody and Maureen on Flickr.
4. Artazart, by Stephanie Moisan on Flickr.
5. Librairie, by Jean-Louis Zimmerman via Wikimedia.
6. Violette, by Melanie P via Yelp.
7. Le Pont Traversé, via Google Street View.

About the Contributor

Daisy Naylor

A languages student lucky enough to be living in Paris, I love everything French -literature, film and photography in particular, as well as croissants.

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  1. Esme Wakefield Oct 1, 2014 at 5:23 AM - Reply

    I love articles like this – it’s what My French Life is all about for me – discovering new pockets and excellencies of France that make it even more wonderful. I defy anybody to not rejoice in spending an afternoon getting lost in one of these bookshops!

  2. Elise Mellor Oct 1, 2014 at 9:44 AM - Reply

    Oh bookshops. They’re so wonderful. I’m hearing a lot of debate recently about how the physical book is obsolete and will eventually become extinct, but that will never happen. True booklovers will always prefer to curl up with a musty old tome rather than a glowing screen. We’ll always favour getting lost in a labyrinth or towering and overspilling shelves to scrolling through a list of downloadable files. There’s just something about the smell and feel of books.
    I buy most of mine second hand because (other than getting a bargain) I love to feel that someone has taken the journey and loved the characters before me.
    Judy, can you tell me if any of these shops sell second hand books (or pre-loved might be a more appropriate term!)?

    • Alexandria Rogers Oct 2, 2014 at 2:40 PM - Reply

      Lovely article. And Elise, I’m not sure about the rest but The Abbey Bookshop happens to be one of my favorites in Paris and yes, they do sell second-hand books. Sometimes they also give you free coffee! It’s a wonderful atmosphere. I’d definitely recommend visiting if you have the chance.

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