By writing about Shakespeare & Company I admittedly do not have the intention to reveal a hidden spot, given its mythical status amongst Anglophobes in Paris. Its location next to the Notre Dame is not exactly a zone out of the tourist centre either. But then again, it would be a shame to miss out on this bookshop that has en plus recently opened a little coffee place. The latter is even the talk of the town among French speaking Parisians, so therefore I do feel a word on this spot is justified.
Paris logically hosts several English bookshops, but none of them look like they could be located in a Harry Potter novel. More importantly, Shakespeare & Co has succeeded in creating a popular spot not only for Anglophobe Parisians and tourists but also for writers, who are often invited to talk about their works in the little space on the first floor. The bookshop also invites visitors to leave notes, poems or pictures in their letterbox, which will then be shoved into books throughout the shop, so who knows what surprise will be hidden in your purchase. (Hasn’t happened to me so far.)
The café next door has the same feel as the shop and serves coffee, bagels and sweet snacks. They are a bit pricey to be honest, but the cute interior makes up for it, and the view on the Notre Dame, too.