Books Can Take You Places: Paris, France

Half Price Books encourages you to travel more in 2016. Not the kind of travel that involves airplanes, passports and hotels, but the easier, more affordable kind — where you open a great book and let it take you somewhere.Paris-Travel-Sticker

Throughout 2016 we’ll share about the world’s great destinations, along with our recommendations for the books, movies and music that will help you get there. This month’s stop is Paris, France.

For centuries, the city of Paris has been a mecca for artists. Writers, painters and musicians from all over the world have spent time here, perhaps most notably during the first half of the 20th century. The lingering presence of these giants, including the American expatriates of the so-called Lost Generation, can be felt in the cafes and bars where they wined, dined and worked.


Amélie An American in Paris • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein • The Best of Erik Satie Breathless Charade Histoire de Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsbourg • La Vie En Rose: The Very Best of Edith Piaf • Les Misérables, Victor Hugo • Midnight in Paris A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway • Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik • The Paris Wife, Paula McLain • The Quintessential Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli


  • Gertrude Stein’s home at 27 rue de Fleurus was a gathering spot for the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Picasso.
  • The popularity of Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame effectively shamed the City of Paris into restoring the neglected Notre-Dame Cathedral.
  • Left Bank café Les Deux Magots was a favorite hangout of the city’s literary and intellectual elite, including surrealist artists and existentialist philosophers.
  • In 1928, Ernest Hemingway stashed two trunks of notebooks in the Ritz Hotel basement. They remained there until 1956, when he retrieved them and used them as the basis for A Moveable Feast, a memoir of his Paris years.
  • American expatriate writers met and sometimes crashed at Shakespeare & Company, a bookstore owned by Sylvia Beach, who also published James Joyce’s Ulysses when no other publisher would.

If you don’t want to miss a stop on this journey, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.

Bon voyage!

Meredith is Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate. You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

6 thoughts on “Books Can Take You Places: Paris, France

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