I have friends in town who wanted to see the “original” Shakespeare & Company, otherwise, I probably would’ve never stopped by here. While there, I overheard a tour guide give some info on the bookstore and it was pretty interesting. Apparently, a lot of famous authors used to frequent this store – including Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, and since struggling writers tend to be poor, the owner Sylvia Beach would not only let them borrow books, but also let them stay at the store in exchange for a few hours of work.
The reason I added quotes to the word “original” up above is because after some googling, it turns out this technically isn’t the original Shakespeare & Company. The original one that Sylvia had founded shut down after she was interned for six months during World War II – apparently she was talking smack to one of the Nazis who stopped by her store for a book and he reported her – so the one that stands now was opened by American George Whitman and named after Shakespeare & Company in honor of the late Sylvia Beach.
Shakespeare & Company
37 rue de la Buchérie