Paris: Scoring Art Supplies at Book Shops

The absolute Truth about cats and dogs at the Libraire Photos by Theadora Brack

Designer Paul Smith also loves Rhodia!

By Theadora Brack

It’s high time for another confession! My name is Theadora. And I am hooked on classic French notebooks. I’m an avid collector! All shapes, sizes and colors, I embrace them like there’s no tomorrow.

These slim gems are usually prominently displayed, lightweight and affordable, costing just €1 to €10. Truth be bold, I haven’t met one I didn’t like. They’re the perfect the souvenir. They’ll satisfy your head, pocketbook and suitcase!

Lucky for me, there’s no shortage of the iconic darlings in Paris. Throughout the city, you’ll find them in neighborhood bookstores (“librairies”) and stationary shops (“papeteries”).

The mind reels! If buying hundreds of shiny Clairefontaine notebooks (1858) or orange Rhodia pads (1934)  is wrong, I don’t want to be right! Even designer Paul Smith is a big fan of Rhodia. Just saying.

My favorite Libraire

I’ve been currently scoring my cardboard pretties at the Christin Buropro Libraire-Papeterie. Located in Montmartre, here you’ll also find scads of art supplies, books and magazines. I also dig the smell of the little shop. In fact, I swoon each time I make my entrance. They should bottle it. I’d wear it!

By the way, the neighborhood bookstores often stock and discount catalogues from current and past museum exhibitions in Paris. Cha-Ching!

Square d’Anvers and Sacré Coeur

Tip for the road

The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is located just a few blocks away from the Christin Buropro Libraire-Papeterie. So channel your inner Picasso, and pick up a few art supplies (and picnic treats at the nearby shops).

Then head straight for the hills of Montmartre for some lively sketching and relaxation.

Also, the Square d’Anvers is located kitty-corner to the shop. It’s another prime people-watching spot with plenty of benches!

More skinnyChristin Buropro Librairie-Papeterie
17 Avenue Trudaine, 9th arrondissement
Métro: Anvers or Pigalle


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14 thoughts on “Paris: Scoring Art Supplies at Book Shops

  1. Nice tip next time that I am in the neighborhood of the Sacre-Coeur to visit these shops you mentioned. My daughter will definitely love these papers and art supplies for her endless drawing and writing projects 😉

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    • Malou! You should take your daughter to the Sennelier art supply (1887!) at 3 Quai Voltaire. Located near the Louvre, it’s where Picasso picked up his oil pastels! In fact, Henri Sennelier created them for Picasso. I love this historic, cozy place. Cezanne and Gauguin also shopped here! Theadora

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    • ATW, I loved your photograph of Burton Place in Old Town, Chicago. For the love of mosaics and mana, it’s one my favorite spots for inspiration. Even in the snow! Artists Sol Kogen and Edgar Miller were so talented. Thanks for sharing. Bravo! Theadora

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  2. P.S. I also have loved “Rhodia” since 2000, when I first began using…grat for keeping notes to self orderly, and great for sketching in scale.

    How I envy you…and it’s a beautiful blog!

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    • Vivian! I don’t toss the notebooks! I store them in boxes. Souvenirs of life. Spiral or flip? I’m a spiral gal. Love the spiral! Clairfontaine has great selection of vibrant, striking colors: red, green, orange and blue. Enjoy the day! Theadora

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  3. Am I the first to notice that the trees on the Rhodia notebook echo the shape of Sacre Coeur? You are too clever by far! Gorgeous site! I love every issue!

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  4. Thanks for the like – I also love notebooks and the smell of bookstores and art supplies. You’re right – they should bottle that smell!

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    • Sheila, Your site is beautiful! From top to bottom, I loved your “Mars-Utah” series. I recently returned from short jaunt to Nevada. I still can’t get the color of the blue sky out of mind. Not that I’m trying! Theadora

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      • Thank you so much! I love your photos of Paris. I’ve only made it there once so far but your site really brings those memories back. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

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