Website orders and inquiries are processed from Monday to Friday.

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

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

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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.

Events

Events

20 June 2024, 19:00

Catherine Lacey on Biography of X

Join us for an evening with Catherine Lacey as she discusses her vertiginously brilliant novel Biography of X. In conversation with Adam Biles.

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

25 June 2024, 19:00

Paul Murray on The Bee Sting

We're delighted to welcome back Paul Murray to discuss his "generous, immersive, sharp-witted and devastating" (FT), 2023 Booker-shorlisted novel The Bee Sting.

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

History

History

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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. 

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. 

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

Merci pour votre compréhension ❤️