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The Bard's Bookstore

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Located at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, a stone's throw from the Seine, and draped in a long-cast shadow of Notre Dame, is what should be proclaimed one of France's national treasures: the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. This is actually the second site of the original store, which was closed in June of 1940 due to German occupation during the second world war. The location pictured here was opened in 1951 under the name of Le Mistral, but was later changed in honor of the original store that was shuttered years prior. Walk through the green double doors and you will find a world steeped in history and literary greatness. It's sometimes hard to even move around due to the endless stacks of books and shelves teeming with manuscripts that were banged out on ancient typewriters, or possibly carved on clay tablets. The smell of aged parchment wafts through the air, and that fragrance alone makes one reminiscent of a bygone era. My weathered copy of A Moveable Feast was picked up at this very spot, in honor of Hemingway, a frequent visitor of the original shop. Pop in for a minute or stay for hours, Shakespeare welcomes your company.

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by Matthew Keesecker
AFAR Local Expert
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