A Guide to Literary Paris

Enchanté! Who doesn’t have daydreams about spending a summer on the continent, reading all the books and visiting all the bookish places. And Paris is definitely at the top of the list.


The city of love? Maybe. The city of much bookness? Definitely.

Books set in Paris


1. Anna and the French Kiss’ by Stephanie Perkins – Paris set YA to end all Paris set YA. Anna plus Etienne equals reading heaven. ‘Nuff said.

2. ‘Just One Day’ by Gayle Forman – Allyson and Willem have one whirlwind of a city tour. And maybe more than an ounce of romance. But it was ‘just one day’ and the morning after isn’t as fun.

3. ‘Belle Epoque’ by Elizabeth Ross – Maude runs away to Paris, because life has to be better there, right? Maybe. She takes on work as a repoussoir, which is essentially being hired as The DUFF.

4. ‘The Beautiful and the Cursed’ by Page Morgan – After the mysterious disappearance of her brother, Ingrid enters a dark Paris underworld of gargoyles and demons. And if that hasn’t already piqued your interest? There’s boys. Handsome boys.

Famous Writers in Paris

The list of authors and poets and other creatives to have called Paris “home” at some point in their careers is huge. Here are just a few of our faves:

famous paris living authors

Victor Hugo (‘Les Miserables’), Ernest Hemingway (‘A Farewell to Arms’), F. Scott Fitzgerald (‘The Great Gatsby’), Oscar Wilde (‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’)

Stellar Book Shopping

Shakespeare & Co. – This place is as infamous as the city itself. Many creative types make the pilgrimage to this shop, and not just to browse the books! Srsly. A must-visit.

The Bouquinistes – Take a stroll along the river Seine and browse the stalls and tell-tale green boxes along its banks. Full of books and other items of interest, there’s around 200 independent sellers to look at. Magnifque!

Great places to read in Paris

Where to start! Here’s a few to get you started, but there are perfect reading spots abound! Get exploring!

The Eiffel Tower – What better than this Paris landmark as a backdrop?

Place des Vosages – Victor Hugo’s residence is still in this square. It’s now a museum, but the square itself makes for a lovely reading space.

Père Lachaise Cemetery – A little morbid for some, perhaps, but it’s a peaceful and also fascinating place. It’s also the resting place of Oscar Wilde. His gave site was recently renovated as visitors would leave red lipstick kisses on the stone (and apparently the stone didn’t like it).

So now there’s a perspex barrier… With red lipstick kisses all over it.

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Bibliothèque nationale de France – Even if it’s just to sneak around the reading room, this library has some of the biggest collects of literature in Europe, and possibly the world.

Café de Flore – One of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris, this neat little cafe was once the hub of philosophical thinkers and writers. It still attracts a large amount of creatives. Très classique!

Have you been to Paris? Do you have any reading spots you’d recommend? Tweet us @maximumpopbooks


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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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