The most recently opened of the bookstores in Paris, our own Bill & Rosa’s Book Room, is composed mainly of used English books (about 4500). We also have a certain number of French language books (about 500). And when we also received books in other languages Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Polish we were reminded as to what a cosmopolitan city Paris is. In fact we read recently on the city of Paris’ website in carefully inclusive French that the population of the city is composed of 22% Paris-born, someplace else we saw 26% foreign-born and the rest of Parisians are non Parisian French. The international community stems from 176 nationalities. And 3/4 of Parisians think the ideal city is multicultural. This got us to thinking that there must be bookshops that deal in other languages beyond English and French so we set out to see what we could find and composed this list. After the foreign language shops there’s a list of English bookstores in Paris and a few of the historic French shops we thought we just couldn’t leave out. If you love book shops it doesn’t matter what the language! Bookstores in Paris are multicultural and multilingual!
If you’re looking for books in Japanese, books about Japan in French or English, language books, manga or just really cute stationery, this is the place to go. Located in the Opéra neighborhood of Paris, this bookstore is a tiny piece of Japan and not just because your purchases are always put in paper bags and sealed with a piece of tape.
18, rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris https://www.junku.fr/
The first BookOff opened in 1990 in Japan and fourteen years later, the BookOff Opéra opened (which is now, sadly, closed). BookOff sells a wide selection of Japanese books and manga, but also used books in English, French, German and Spanish starting at prices as low as 1€.
Still three shops in Paris https://lingonbook.fr/
Librairie du Globe
Here you can find an impressive array of books in Russian, ranging from contemporary to the classics, but you can also find French translations. However, this is not just a bookstore, as you can also visit the cabinet of curiosities (and buy the items that you see), buy a perfume or attend one of the numerous events they organize.
67, Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris https://www.librairieduglobe.com/
La Librairie de l’Orient
Located a few steps away from the Institut du Monde Arabe, where there is also a bookshop, La Librairie de l’Orient sells books in Arabic and in French, with topics ranging from Arabic civilization to religion, poetry or history.
18 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris http://www.orient-lib.com/
Located near the Pantheon, this bookstore opened in 1986. Here you can find books in Portugese and French, bilingual books and method books or you can attend one the many events and debates organized here periodically.
19/21 rue des Fossés Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris https://librairie-portugaise.com/
Tour de Babel – Librairie Italienne
Situated in the picturesque Marais neighborhood, Tour de Babel has books in Italian, English and French and has a small gallery space where Italian artists can exhibit their work.
10, rue du Roi de Sicile 75004 Paris https://librairieitalienne.com/
One of the few Eastern-Euorpean language bookstores in Paris, the Librairie Polonaise was founded 180 years ago and has existed in its current location for the past 😯 years. It offers a wide selection of books in Polish and has an ever-growing section of books in French.
123 Bd Saint Germain 75006 Paris https://thepolishbookstore.com/en/productag/252746/b-a-paris
A newly-opened bookstore and café in the 10th district of Paris. It promotes little-known Spanish authors, but also offers a selection of books in Spanish and French translations of Spanish titles. You can also attend readings, debates and workshops, all while enjoying Argentinian pastries.
21 rue du Chalet, 75010 Paris https://www.placedeslibraires.fr/librairie-3308/paris/Carino/
Librairie Présence Africaine
Opened in the 1960s, this bookstore ideally located in the heart of Paris, sells not only books published by the eponymous publishing house, but also a variety of books on topics such as literature, philosophy, religion, linguistics… They also organize events regulary so check out their website to see when the next event might be.
25 bis rue des Ecoles, 75005 Paris https://www.presenceafricaine.com/info/10-librairie
English bookstores in Paris
Bill & Rosa’s Book Room
A USED BOOK SHOP, a LENDING LIBRARY and a reading room like on the ocean liners of yore. Novels of all genres plus non-fiction, biographies, history, some poetry, cookbooks, cats, books on Paris or France, memoirs and children’s books. Most books are in English, but also in French and other langauges. Prices start at just 2€. Right near metro Porte de Saint Cloud.
42, rue du Chemin Vert 92100 Boulogne https://www.fusac.fr/bill-rosas-book-room/
The Red Wheelbarrow
Across the street from the Luxembourg Gardens, The Red Wheelbarrow sells a wide variety of new books, from gastronomy, history and politics to children’s books in both French and English.
9 Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris https://theredwheelbarrowbookstore.com/
Smith & Sons
Divided into two floors and located right in the heart of Paris just off Place de la Concorde, Smith & Son (formerly W.H. Smith) opened in Paris in 1903. It has a wide selection of contemporary and classic titles and also an impressive collection of newspapers and magazines in English. There is also a tea room, and food shop.
248 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris https://www.smithandson.com/
Shakespeare and Company
Founded by George Whitman in 1951 in a building that dates from the early 17th century and that was originally a monastery, this legendary bookstore overflows with new and used books in English and is almost always busy.
37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris https://shakespeareandcompany.com/
The Abbey Bookshop
Opened in 1989, by Brian Spence, this cozy bookstore sells new, used and rare books in English and is located in the historical Hôtel Dubuisson. You can enjoy a nice cup of maple syrup coffee while you browse the shelves.
29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris https://abbeybookshop.wordpress.com/about/
You may not know this, but the Galignani family has been in the printing business since the 16th century. In the 19th century they published a daily paper in English. They opened a first Galignani bookstore in Paris in 1801 on the Rue Vivienne and the current Galignani, on the Rue de Rivoli, was opened in 1856. The bookstore is still owned by the Galignani family and has a section in English, one in French and a Fine Arts section.
224 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris https://www.galignani.fr/
After 8 Books
A bookstore and a publishing house, After 8 Books offers art books, novels, essays and much more in English, French and other languages as well as an impressive selection of unique catalogues and magazines in both languages.
7 Rue de Jarry, 75010 Paris https://www.after8books.com/
Support a good cause and enjoy the pleasure of browsing through the shelves in this nice charity shop which sells only used English and French books at very affordable prices, you can find real gems here !
8 Rue Saint-Ambroise 75011 Paris https://www.oxfamfrance.org/magasins-oxfam/
Other Bookstores in Paris, to visit just because:
Although not as insta-friendly as Shakespeare& Co., Le Boulinier is at least as famous. Unfortunately, one of their most famous locations, at 20 Boulevard Saint-Michel, a bookstore that has existed for over 80 years has recently closed. However, the Boulinier spirit lives on in their numerous other locations in Paris, including another store on the Boulevard Saint-Michel and one at Châtelet. Here you can find used books (mostly in French, but some in English as well) starting at 20 cents and you can sell your own books as well. It can take a while to find what you’re looking for, but rummaging through the books to find a hidden gem is also part of the Boulinier experience.
Place Joachim Du Bellay, 75002 Paris https://en.boulinier.com/
Located in the spectacular Galerie Vivienne, this bookstore makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a 1930s movie. Here you can buy old and new books at accessible prices and you can even find rare books. It is perfect to visit on a rainy and cold day, when it feels even cozier than usual!
45 Galerie Vivienne – 75002 Paris http://www.librairie-jousseaume.fr/
Georges Brassens Book Market
This open-air book market is located in a former late 19th century slaughterhouse in the 15th district of Paris and is named after a French singer who lived in the area. It is open on weekends and it is a treasure trove of old books, rare books, first editions but not only, as you can also find comics, encyclopaedias, kids books, new books, posters, old postcards… Some books may be rather expensive, but bargaining is part of the experience!
104 Rue Brancion, 75015 Paris https://www.marchedulivre-paris.fr/
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