The best bookstores in Paris are among the best bookstores the world over. Paris has an incredibly rich tradition of independent bookselling, and actual laws that undercut online retailers (read: Amazon’s) ability to out-price their rivals. The result is amazing: an independent bookstore on many neighborhood’s main street. The anglophone selection for the best bookstores in Paris isn’t quite as inexhaustible, but it’s excellent, with six great choices, depending on what you’re looking for.
One of the best parts of traveling is discovering the world’s most wonderful bookstores — and my heart exploded when I stepped into BooksActually in the Tiong Bahru neighborhood in Singapore. (Tiong Bahru is helpfully described by the Singapore Tourism Board as “one of the most happening hoods in town” — sort of like a sunny, very small Williamsburg, and punching well above its weight in terms of bakeries.) BooksActually is amazing, with walls stacked with novels (Singaporean classics and contemporary, plus all the other stuff worth reading), a super-smart and eclectic collection of art and design books, some lovely souvenirs, and, in the back, an entire room full of local vintage pieces. Outside, a vending machine sells “Mystery Books”; inside, two cats meow at customers. There is literally nothing more you could ask for from a bookstore. This is my interview with Kenny Leck, the founder of BooksActually and publisher of Math Paper Press.