Shakespeare and Company is an iconic English- language bookstore located on the Left bank of Paris. It goes back to 1951 when it was opened by George Whitman.
Originally called’ Le Mistral’, the name was changed to ‘Shakespeare and Company” in 1964 on the 400th birth anniversary of Shakespeare and as a tribute to the store set up by Sylvia Beach.
Sylvia Beach was an American -born bookseller and publisher. She lived most of her life in Paris and opened an English language bookstore and a lending library by the name of Shakespeare and Company in 1919.
Unfortunately, she had to close in 1941.
The present-day store stocks new and second-hand books and serves as an antiquarian bookseller and a free reading library open to the public.
The store houses aspiring writers and artists in exchange for helping out in the bookstore.
An interesting trivia about the place; since it opened in 1951, more than 30,000 people have slept in the beds found tucked between the bookshelves.
The store has an interesting motto-
‘Be not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise.’
That’s Shakespeare and Company Bookstore for you.