Website orders and inquiries are processed from Monday to Friday.

“Shakespeare is the happy hunting ground of all minds that have lost their balance.”


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Friends of...
Shakespeare and Company

is a nonprofit—created in response to the pandemic and its financial consequences—to support the bookshop’s noncommercial activities, including our free author events, first-floor library, weekly podcast, and writers’ rooms, with views on Notre-Dame, where more than 30,000 poets and authors have stayed the night gratis in Paris since 1951.



21 May 2024, 19:00

Samanta Schweblin on Seven Empty Houses

Join us for an evening with Samanta Schweblin, as she discusses her dark, destabilising and award-winning short story collection Seven Empty Houses. In conversation with Adam BilesIn association with Editions Grasset.

Free & open to all. Places limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

28 May 2024, 19:00

Hari Kunzru on Blue Ruin

Join us for an evening with the brilliant Hari Kunzru as he discusses Blue Ruin, his enthralling novel about beauty, power, and capital's influence on art and those who devote their lives to creating it. In conversation with Adam Biles.

Free & open to all. Places limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.



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"I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations."

— George Whitman

Shakespeare and Company is an independent, English-language bookshop located on the banks of the Seine, opposite Notre-Dame. It has been a meeting place for writers and readers in Paris for more than seventy years.

In 1951, Shakespeare and Company was opened by George Whitman on rue de la Bûcherie. It was given its name by Sylvia Beach, who called the shop the “spiritual successor” to her own. Beach’s bookstore, on rue de l’Odéon (1919-1941), had been a gathering place for the great expat writers of the time, including Hemingway, Stein, Fitzgerald, Eliot, and Pound—and it was Beach who first published Joyce’s Ulysses, when no one else dared.

George’s bookstore quickly became a center for anglophone literary life in Paris. James Baldwin, William Burroughs, Anaïs Nin, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Wright, Julio Cortázar, and Henry Miller were early visitors. From the first day—writers, artists, and intellectuals were invited to sleep for free among the shelves. Since then, more than 30,000 people have stayed in the bookshop, which itself has grown from a single narrow room on the ground floor to the labyrinth of books and nooks readers know today.

George’s only child, Sylvia Whitman, now runs the bookshop with David Delannet, her partner in life and business. They’ve embarked on several new adventures, including adding a café, a literary festival, a writing contest, and a publishing arm. Shakespeare and Company continues to host regular literary events, which are available for free on the shop’s podcast. Guests have included Zadie Smith, Don DeLillo, Carol Ann Duffy, Colson Whitehead, Leïla Slimani, Rachel Cusk, George Saunders, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Jeanette Winterson.

George’s novel, this bookshop, is today still being written by a dedicated team of booksellers and by all the people who continue to read, write, and sleep at Shakespeare and Company.

Thank you for your support.

Dear Customers,

Website orders and inquiries are processed from Monday to Friday. 

The bookshop & the café will be closed on the 1st and 20th of May.

Books listed on the website are not necessarily in stock at the bookshop and may need to be ordered.

Thank you for your understanding ❤️

Chers clients,

Les commandes de la librairie sont traitées du lundi au vendredi. 

La librairie & le café seront fermés le 1er mai, ainsi que le 20 mai.

Les livres répertoriés sur le site ne sont pas forcément en stock à la librairie et doivent être commandés.

Merci pour votre compréhension ❤️