Being a lover of books and bookshops and libraries and such-like, I was always going to visit Shakespeare and Company when we were in Paris.
This English bookshop was established in the 1950’s in the Latin quarter of Paris and is famed for attracting writers and artists from all over the world. It holds it’s own festivals and events and is packed with memorabilia from notable and less notable visitors, many of whom have apparently crashed in the tiny cots secreted around the upstairs area.
This bookshop is so charming, charm practically oozes from the old stone walls. They could bottle the excess charm and sell it with the books. Little rooms lined with wonky shelves overflowing with books and magazines lead into more little rooms, all equipped with chairs on which to sit and peruse. And upstairs is even better…
There are notes and letters and drawings and paintings from all sorts of visitors pinned or propped everywhere. There is a piano that people can play and tiny, cosy nooks to curl up in and lots of comfortable chairs where you are free to sit and read the books for as long as you like.
One day when I was visiting, a vase of flowers had been placed on the table upstairs and the windows were open to the warm summer air. I sat and read while the gentle music of the piano in the next room mingled with the sounds of the Paris streets floating in on the breeze and the scent of the flowers. Surrounded by books and beauty; heaven.