Destination: France: Paris
The flagship bookstore of stylish French publishing house, Assouline, where you can find all of their titles on display. Seductive coffee table books on art, fashion, travel and lifestyle topics line the walls and are stacked on tables in a room that feels like a modern men’s club library. Many of their series come in creative boxed sets, perfect for hostess gifts. Their line of candles, called Leather, Wood and Books, were designed by Diptyque, but have less wide distribution than those in the Diptyque own line so have become a kind of cult favorite among scent snobs. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près.
Exquisite engraved stationery and writing cards with wonderful animals and deeply memorable colors sold out of a historic spot on the Right Bank where the wooden drawers have held dyes for dozens of A-listers who have ordered their note cards here. Métro: Europe.
With a selection of 200 handmade papers from all over the world, these adjacent shops are the addresses for precious and unique writing paper and instruments. Parisians consider Calligrane the ultimate source for calling cards and personal stationery. Métro: St.-Paul.
Wedged between Café Flore and Les Deux Magots is the famous bookstore La Hune, where you can while away hours browsing through the incredible selection of art books. It’s long been a pastime—and a way to break up café stops—for many French intellectuals. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Près.
La Librairie des Arts
For impressive high-end art, architecture, and design books, you can’t beat the bookstore at the Royal Monceau Hotel. Philippe Starck’s lavish interior highlights the beauty of the books themselves, offering a dynamic but inviting space to peruse the dazzling goodies, which includes an incredible collection of some 700 limited editions. In addition to rare books, the librairie also sells artist-made collectibles such as Yoshimoto Nara’s “Little Wanderer” figurines and miniature versions of Robert Indiana’s iconic “LOVE” sculpture.
Librairie du Cheval
As the name implies, this bookstore is dedicated to the horse. Equine lovers will find tomes on everything from anatomy and training to the horse in art and sport. Closed weekends.
Librairie Le Cabanon
Located on a picturesque cobblestone street not far from the lively outdoor marché d’Aligre, this bookshop is known for its great selection of architecture and design books. The neatly organized floor-to-ceiling bookshelves may look like a private library in a swanky architecture firm, but the atmosphere at Cabanon is welcoming and neighborly. Staff will help track down hard-to-find books and the shop attracts evening crowds with small exhibitions and book signings at shop. The store also stocks an impressive assortment of rare magazines devoted to architectural design. Closed Monday.
Right at home amidst Left Bank galleries and designer boutiques lining the neighboring streets, Karl Lagerfeld’s bookshop displays its goods—museum catalogues, artist monographs, design digests, and, of course, exquisite tomes on fashion—like true objets d’art. The beautiful installation of oversized books stacked on dark wood tables and set along the mirror-lined wall-shelves gives the impression of a sophisticated Parisian living room. Closed Sunday and Monday.
This inviting bookshop not far from the Palais Royale has a wide assortment of illustrated cookbooks, cuisine histories and wine guides. Books are arranged thematically according to useful categories such as vegetarian cooking and easy-to-prepare. There is even an adorable children’s section. If culinary inspiration strikes but proper equipment lacks, swing by the family-run cooking supply store, E. Dehillerin around the corner. Closed Sunday.
Libraries Le Bail-Weissert
Nestled on a quiet Left Bank street between the Seine and Boulevard Saint Germain, this narrow shop boasts an impressive collection of travel-related printed matter from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Geographically organized flat-files filled with maps (predominantly regions in France, but other parts of the world are represented as well) run the length of one wall and face opposite glass cases lined with leather-bound atlases, ancient guide books, and travel histories. Though this may feel more like a museum than a bookshop, don’t be afraid to make an inquiry or ask to see something. The clerk will happily pull out maps and take down books. Closed Sunday.
Marie-Paule Orluc worked as an artistic director at Elizabeth Arden, the champagne house of Laurent Perrier and Marie-Claire magazine before she opened this modern stationery store in 1977. The space brings to mind the work place of an architect or graphic designer with its artists lights and wooden shelves piled with sheets of paper in dozens of weights and colors and notebooks, clipboards and albums with various bindings in cloth, paper and leather. A pen and paper lover’s paradise. Métro: Vavin.
Art lovers and book lovers should not miss a visit to this fantastic bookstore near Place de la Republique. You can spend an entire afternoon discovering long-extinct magazines from the ‘60s, treasured exhibition catalogs and limited edition art books from around the world. Be sure to check out the exhibition space in the back. Métro: République.
Olivier de Sercey
Great engraved stationery. Everything must be ordered, but it only takes a few days. His baby announcements are particularly adorable and unusual. Métro: Rue du Bac.
Opened by a former book publisher, this shop sells brightly colored (turquoise, hot pink, hunter green, etc…) cloth covered notebooks, scrapbooks, photo albums in a great range of sizes and shapes. Métro: Pont Marie.
The ultimate artist’s resource, Sennelier has been selling paints and brushes and artist tools for more than a century. Its most famous for its pigments but there is a selection of beautiful sketchbooks and albums as well.
One of Diane von Furstenberg’s favorite places to shop in Paris, this eclectic emporium displays the finds of its owner, Alain-Paul Ruzé, who prowls antique shops and markets around the world. It’s also where Tom Ford and Victoire de Castellane buy their place cards and note cards. Métro: Ranelagh.
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