Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, located near Notre Dame cathedral and the Latin quarter, at 37 rue de la Boucherie in Paris, has been open for more than 50 years. The bookstore, owned by George Whitman, specializes in selling both new and used books. It is well known for its charming literary atmosphere with its small space and overflowing stacks of books. The store has been visited by celebrities such as William Burroughs and Henry Miller, and is a popular venue for tourists.
Shakespeare and Company Bookstore is a three-level building. The top level consists of an open library for all visitors and a room for writers. Because the store is very limited in space, many people have to get on their hands and knees to climb up to the higher levels. The bookstore is known for selling literary works in the English language. Most books are sold second-hand, and children’s books are also available.
Struggling writers are offered shelter at the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, which has a few beds available for those who have no place to stay. In exchange for temporary refuge, writers who live at the bookstore will often work there a few hours a day. They are welcome to stay at the store on the condition that they continue writing. This is a long-standing tradition that the store holds in high regard.
George Whitman is more than 90 years of age, but he remains a frequent presence at the store. He lives above the bookstore and often invites visitors for brunch and literary talks. His young daughter Sylvia currently runs the store.