"The Abbey Bookshop" by Junko Benjamin

"The Abbey Bookshop" by Junko Benjamin

In 1989, Brian Spence, who hails from Toronto, crossed the Atlantic to bring his Abbey Bookshop to an international audience. The Abbey Bookshop in Paris’s Latin Quarter has for the last twenty years become a cultural epicenter for Canadians, Anglophones and Anglophiles from all corners of the world. Although offering a wide variety of Canadian books, its main attraction is an eclectic collection of over 35,000 titles in English ranging from scholarly to popular literature.
The shop sits on rue de la Parcheminerie, originally named rue des Escrivains for the scribes and scriveners who were the heart of the Parisian book trade until parchmentmakers replaced them in the late Middle Ages. On July 1, 1989 the Abbey Bookshop brought the book trade back to this historic street.

The building Spence serendipitously discovered for his shop is the eighteenth-century Hotel Dubuisson, one of the most handsome in the Latin Quarter. The historic “hôtel” is protected as a monument for its picturesque façade, sculptural decoration and carved doors.

En 1989, Brian Spence, né à Toronto, Canada, a traversé l’Atlantique pour ouvrir la Librairie canadienne, The Abbey Bookshop, à Paris. Depuis son ouverture, la librairie est devenue un point de convergence pour les canadiens, les anglophones et les anglophiles de tous les coins du monde. Quoiqu’expert en livres canadiens, la librairie n’en compte pas moins de 35,000 titres en anglais, des plus érudits aux plus populaires.

La librairie, qui se trouve rue de la Parcheminerie, à l’origine la rue des Escrivains, a été baptisée pour les scribes qui fondèrent le commerce parisien de livres, jusqu’a ce qu’ils soient remplacés par les fabricants de parchemin vers la fin du Moyen-Age.

Le 1er Juillet 1989, l’Abbey Bookshop raviva cette tradition en prenant pignon sur rue au numéro 29, dans l’Hôtel Dubuisson, l’un des plus beaux immeubles du Quartier Latin, reconnu pour sa façade pittoresque, sa décoration sculpturale et sa porte ciselée.


28 Responses to “The Abbey Bookshop”

  1. 1 Nancy Guri Duncan June 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Hello Brian, just received an email about your 20th anniversary and wish so much I could be there–it sounds great! Unfortunately, as most summers now, I am not in Paris but in the Drome (or traveling), so won’t be able to celebrate with you. However, it is wonderful–you should be proud–20 years running the most charming and delightful bookstore in Paris!
    Will come in and say hello the next time I’m back.
    All the very best wishes from Nancy Guri and François

  2. 3 Gil alonso June 2, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Bonjour, avez vous une jolie édition de the comtess of Pembroke, old arcadia de Philip Sidney?

  1. 1 The Other Book Store: The Abbey Bookshop | Untapped Paris Trackback on August 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm
  2. 2 Visiting the literary hotspots of Paris | Terry Fallis, Novelist Trackback on November 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm
  3. 3 Boneyards and British Book Signings | American Nomad Abroad Trackback on April 24, 2013 at 9:45 am
  4. 4 Whatever Happened To Keith Spicer? « Nosey Parker Trackback on April 29, 2013 at 4:31 pm
  5. 5 Paris in 5 1/2 Weeks : Photos # 11 – Passing by a Paris Manifestation (Protest) (Day 12) | Felipe Adan Lerma Trackback on July 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm
  6. 6 Belleville Park Press, in Paris – New Opportunity for Writers | Felipe Adan Lerma Trackback on July 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm
  7. 7 The Odyssey | oneaday2013 Trackback on October 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm
  8. 8 Librerías | PASEAR POR PARÍS Trackback on October 23, 2013 at 3:07 pm
  9. 9 France vs. Amazon | eliza mackintosh Trackback on November 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm
  10. 10 France vs. Amazon Trackback on November 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm
  11. 11 Shakespeare is not the only bookstore – Part One. | A Medley Of Extemporanea Trackback on November 14, 2013 at 12:46 pm
  12. 12 H. pour hO hO hO | L'insolente Trackback on December 3, 2013 at 8:02 am
  13. 13 Paris | Canadian Writers Abroad Trackback on January 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm
  14. 14 Hot Spots: Parijs | Anna Naomi Trackback on April 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm
  15. 15 France – Paris | VOYAGERONT Trackback on May 8, 2014 at 5:34 am
  16. 16 Travel With Me // Paris – What We Did Trackback on August 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm
  17. 17 Boycott Amazon | Shoddy Solutions Trackback on September 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm
  18. 18 France Part VIII – Batobus, St-Germain-des-Prés, and Cathédrale Notre Dame | Evreux Photography Trackback on September 19, 2014 at 1:41 am
  19. 19 Paris, deine Geheimtipps. | yippie yeah, lautes treiben Trackback on September 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm
  20. 20 There is a magical place where its OK to be out of date and disconnected | important things Trackback on October 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm
  21. 21 Three Reasons to Fall in Love with Paris - 7 Days in Paris Trackback on January 16, 2015 at 8:19 am
  22. 22 CÉCILE 2/2 | The Archivists Trackback on May 7, 2017 at 10:31 am
  23. 23 Day 9: June 23 – Notre Dame & Eiffel Tower – The Adventures of Shelby & Kay Trackback on June 27, 2017 at 11:45 pm
  24. 24 Two Weeks Trekking Around One Of Europe’s Highest Peaks – My Espresso Road Trackback on August 29, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Follow Abbey Bookshop on Twitter!


%d bloggers like this: