When I’m in Paris, I sometimes find myself paralyzed by the bookstore choices. On my last visit, I counted twelve bookshops on a ten minute bus ride. And while I usually spend a day or two just browsing the fantastic antiquarian shops, I also try and pop-in at some of my favorite independent bookstores, especially shops that stock secondhand titles. One of my longtime favorites is Brian Spence’s Abbey Bookshop, which is situated in a quaint 18th century building on an equally charming little street in the 5ème.
The Abbey has two jam-packed floors, with more than 35,000 new and used titles in English and French. And unlike some pretentious tourist trap shops—I’m looking at you Shakespeare and Company—Spence’s prices are usually very fair.