The weekly antique and used book market (marché du livre ancien et d'occasion) in Paris

Looking for an antique map of Paris from 1728, a leather bound collection of books by French author Marcel Pagnol, some black and white photographs, comic books or old magazines? With the demise of mega-bookstores like Borders and the nascence of e-book readers, the weekly antique and used book market is a bibliophile's dream come true. Admittedly, all of the books that I saw were in French, but there was something reassuring about the leather bound tomes...a sense of timelessness that doesn't come with downloading a book on my Kindle. Plus, it's a great spot for browsing and for people watching.

After digging through stall after stall, Stephane and I unearthed some affordable treasures, such as "Images du Monde" magazines from 1947 (3 Euros) for his mother, "La Mode Pratique" publications from 1907 with sketches of women's fashion (3 Euros) to frame and a couple of French DVDs (3-5 Euros) that Stephane has been wanting to watch with our children.

If you find yourself a bit distracted by the heavenly scent of freshly baked bread while you're browsing, follow your nose across the street to the famous Poilane bakery and sample one of their apple pastries. They're delicious.

Held in the former horse market at 104 rue Brancion next to the Parc Georges-Brassens, sixty booksellers display their continuously changing wares every Saturday and Sunday throughout the year (without exception) from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

This photo shows one of the two covered book markets.

Marché du livre ancien et d'occasion


  1. I could be lost in here for a couple of hours. And the more often one visits this sort of market, the better they become at finding stuff. Mary Kay, do you read French for pleasure, or typically stay with English?

    Oh, and about Poilane, my local Treasure Island supermarket imports this bread from Paris once a week, or so, as dough as I understand it, and bake it on premise for sale. I used to be buy it regularly but have switched back to Healthy Nut (as you know from my latest blog), maybe another switch is in order.

  2. That's quite a coincidence that you can find Poilane bread in Chicago. Is it outrageously expensive? It's not my favorite fresh bread but I do like it when it's used to make croque monsieurs/madames.

    I thought about you and your post on how to care for books while I was at the market because some of the books were obviously in better shape than others.

    Unfortunately, reading in French wouldn't be a pleasure for me, Joseph, because I would have to hold a dictionary in one hand to look up all of the words that I don't understand, so I always stick with English.

  3. The bread is about five dollars for an eight of a round wheel of bread (whatever that's called). And you're right, it's great for toasting and fried sandwiches. They import the sourdough bread only.

    And your photos of the books demonstrated that those leather ones are in pretty good shape--nice colors, strong spines, pretty gold lettering.

  4. All of the books weren't in such good shape. Some of them were falling apart and had lost their spines.


Post a Comment