Paris: 10 Things to Do

4. Shakespeare and Company Bookshop

Paris City Guide Shakespeare and Company Bookshop Directphoto.org / Alamy
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Time has not sundered the love-in between literature and Paris's Left Bank. The Shakespeare and Company bookstore, has long been a fixture of the affair. The original shop, which doubled as a library, publisher and boarding house for aspiring writers, was opened by American Sylvia Beach and was featured in Ernest Hemingway's memoir, A Moveable Feast. The store closed during World War II, and was reopened in its current incarnation in 1951 by George Whitman, whose daughter, Sylvia (named after Beach), runs things today. Out front, bookstands surround an ornate drinking fountain, erected in the 19th century to service the area's poor. Inside, there's an extensive stock of second-hand books. When you're done browsing, retire with reading matter to the nearby restaurant Le Procope. Once the haunt of luminaries like Voltaire, Rousseau and Verlaine, its walls are adorned with author-signed title pages, addressed like so many love letters to "Le Procope." The sumptuous set menu (€46 for three courses) is dubbed "The Philosophes."

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