About The Guide

Hello! We are Sonja and Ivan. And this is our Bookstore Guide - an amateur guide to book shopping throughout Europe. We hope this Guide will help you find the book(stores) you are looking for.

The Abbey Bookshop, Paris

abbey bookshop paris logo

Where? Paris, France

August, 2008
(Read more on The Abbey Bookshop in our Report from Paris)

After circling around for a while in search of the street by the name of Rue de la Parcheminerie and with the help of the locals, we managed to find the Abbey Bookshop - Paris' first English / French Canadian bookstore. After entering, we were first stunned at how many books manage to fit into such a small bookstore, only to find out that the bookstore itself is actually not that small at all - it has several rooms and even a basement full of second hand and new books. Books were literally all over the place - inside, in front, stocked in piles and even on double sliding shelves - sometimes it's even difficult to move around. The large flag hanging above the bookstore's entrance wasn't the only indicator of the Canadian character of the place as we were also greeted by the music of Leonard Cohen. We descended into the cool depths of the Abbey Bookshop's basement where we found a more than impressive collection of non-fiction titles. Especially the section dedicated to social sciences (the subject of political philosophy deserves to be mentioned above all) holds titles which are really hard to find in Europe.

We had a chat with the owner, Brian Spence, who opened the bookstore in 1989 (next year, on July 1st, the Abbey Bookshop will be 20 years old). After having little luck with real estate agents, Brian found the location for his bookstore by walking around Paris' neighborhoods that he himself liked and knocking on the doors. Soon afterwards, he had the perfect spot for Abbey in the Latin Quarter in the heart of Paris. And we can confirm that he has a whole repertoire of interesting stories connected to the history of the impressive building he has chosen for his bookstore.

Abbey Bookshop stocks over 35,000 titles (5,000 purely Canadian ones) covering topics from literature, arts via philosophy and history to travel guides and books on francophone countries. The offer is a combination of both new and used books, exclusively in English. It is a subsidiary of Toronto's Abbey Bookshop and it is the only bookstore outside of Canada representing Canadian publishers. Brian certainly knows his stock well and will help you find any book you need, regardless if they have it on stock or not. All in all, if you find yourself getting tired of all the tourists in front of Notre Dame, we most definitely recommend you to look up Abbey, which is located just a few streets away, and you're in for a pleasant surprise.

abbey bookshop outsideThe Abbey Bookshop
29, rue de la Parcheminerie
75005 Parisabbey bookshop paris


Phone and Email:

Working Hours:
Mon-Sat 10-19

Back to the list of bookstores in Paris

1 comment:

Rob Innis said...

Just back form Paris - located Abbey very easily and was amazed at the stock. Had a long chat with Brian over a cup of coffee (thanks for the hospitality) and rummaged around the basement and found 2 books I wanted (and managed to get home despite Ryan air baggage allowances)Well worth a visit - you won't be disappointed.