Galignani is one of Paris’ many, but without a doubt most beautiful, bookstores. Located under the arches of the rue de Rivoli, between the Tuileries and the Louvre, it will welcome you with its characteristic green storefront. As you enter and the wooden floorboards creek under your feet, you will instantly be transported into a magical world of books. As an avid and very impulsive reader, I am a regular of Galignani ’s. However, up to now, I had never looked into its history.
The shop has existed since 1856, but the Galignani family goes all the way back to 1520. The Galignanis are famous for being among the first to use the printing press to distribute their books to a larger audience. They also founded a newspaper in the 19th century, “Galignani’s Messenger”, to which several great authors (such as Byron) contributed.
Galignani remains, to this day, a family-owned company and if the pandemic has taught me anything, it is the importance of supporting our local businesses, especially when their service is of such high quality. I was over the moon when I discovered that the shop was so close-by to my office (as the nearest decent bookstore to my apartment is the Fnac, rue de Rennes…) and I have spent more than one lunch breaks perusing through its books.
Whether you are looking for books in French or English, about politics or about cooking, I have no doubt this is the place where you will find your heart’s desire!