Bookstores in Paris Linger On

Blogathon June 25

Part 3

There are still so many book vendors in Paris despite Amazon France, which, by the way, is extremely efficient (I’ve ordered from them and books are not only delivered timely, but Amazon also gives you an introductory Prime membership for next day delivery–constantly tracking the package and sending email notices frequently when to expect delivery). As a sign of the times, though, Tea and Tattered Pages closed permanently (as did Village Voice Paris), which means its cozy little tearoom is also gone with the wind. Perhaps it will return some day with a wealthy benefactor, but then it probably wouldn’t be the same. Still, wandering through a live bookstore is always a treat of discovery, but this will be the last blog installment on the subject until I revisit the stores next year.

4th Arrondissement
The Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore
22, rue Saint-Paul
Phone: 01 48 04 75 08

Marked by its bright red welcoming facade in the Marais, The Red Wheelbarrow offers friendly service and serious literature as well as a variety of topics from classic and contemporary fiction to books on politics, current affairs, biographies, history, poetry, and French interest titles.

It’s also stocked with a variety of children’s books in English, and each year there is a writing contest for children and teachers. Check their website for the contest deadline, events, and readings by international writers and poets.

Monday 10 AM-6 PM
Tuesday Saturday 10 AM-7PM
Sunday 2 PM-6 PM

6th Arrondissement
Gilbert Jeune
10, place St-Michel
Phone: 01 43 25 91 19

In 1886, Gilbert Jeune was a bouquiniste on the Quai St-Michel. The original Parisian retail store, founded by his brother Joseph Gilbert, opened its doors in 1888 on Boulevard St-Michel. Today, it sells mostly French titles (about a third used) in multiple locations. It’s fun to linger over the outdoor book tables, but I’ve never found the staff to be particularly helpful. Once near closing time, I was looking for a specific title. One clerk sent me to their store across the way. When I got there, another clerk sent me back to the original store. My feeling was they were ready to close and didn’t want to bother helping me.

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Nouveau Quartier Latin
78, boulevard Saint-Michel,
Phone: 01 43 26 42 70

No used books but plenty of paperbacks. No website either.


13th Arrondissement
15 rue Boussingault
Phone: 01 55 28 80 14
Founded in 1977, primarily to promote Anglo-Saxon culture, this bookstore offers multiple language titles including films and books for children. In addition to English and French books, their selection includes those in Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese as well as other languages. Their website claims over 200 different languages.

Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM

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