unregardmoderne_b.jpg unregardmoderne_b.jpg
BooksCartoon Culture

Un Regard Moderne (Paris)

Un Regard Moderne
Storefront and interior. Click for bigger version

A few months ago, I solicited suggestions from readers about what to see and do while in Paris. I never did a follow-up but today I wanted to write about a highlight of that trip: Un Regard Moderne, one of the coolest bookstores I’ve ever visited. The tiny shop, located at 10 rue gît le coeur 75006 Paris, is a place that claustrophobics would be well advised to avoid. It houses thousands of volumes, mostly related to art, comics and pop culture, in two crowded rooms, with all the books precariously piled atop one another, in seemingly random order, and quite ready to topple at any given moment. The store is cramped so much so that the owner only allows four to five people in the store at any time. When we there, there were only four people and it was quite a challenge moving around.

What impressed me most was the owner’s stock which was extremely up-to-date. In fact, we found many books there that we didn’t find at the better known comic stores in Paris, including titles like Three Trees Make A Forest, I Am 8-Bit and The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora.

Also fascinating was the owner’s encyclopedic knowledge of every book crammed into his shop. My travel companions were author and video game designer David Calvo and Marseilles-based musician Guillaume Pervieux, and when my friend David inquired about an obscure graphic novel that he’d been looking for, the owner had dug the book out of one of the piles within a few minutes.

The owner generously allowed me to take a video of his store and I posted it onto YouTube a while back. The quality is fairly poor but it should offer some sense of what the store is like. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.

  • My nine year old daughter said that the store in the video looks like my basement!!

  • amid

    Ron: Then I would probably enjoy visiting your basement as well :-)

  • Andrew

    I saw 3 Threes Make A Forest at a Japanese bookstore in Manhattan, since, I suppose, one of the artists is of Japanese descent. Of course, I snatched it up.

  • It is very sad that so many of my favorite books stores are closing here in America. Especially the used bookstores. Thankyou so much for posting this….I LOVE THIS STORE and want to go there for a day or two. :-) Wonderful!!

  • I’ve been there! I was in Paris last year and was staying with a friend who lived just around the corner. I just happened to stumble apon it and was so amazed by the place. I wish I could have spent hours there. I bought quite a few nice books there. Everyone interested in illustration or comics should definitely go! Good job posting this.

  • Next time you are in Portland OR you should check out Powells City of Books. Not as precariously packed but still a whole city block and four levels high of books.

  • It’s good to know you could find this remarkable bookstore we are very proud of in Paris (so confidential). I hope you also visited our “Album stores” and the Arludik Gallery (www.arludik.com) which is not so far from
    this bookstore. It’s worth a try !

  • Well, I thought you liked the vegan sandwiches shop best. My wrong.

  • I was there a few years ago, although it was a few minutes before closing time, so I didn’t get to buy anything. My wife and I ended up eating at a restaurant that was right across the street form the bookstore (Au Jardin). Turned out to be the best meal we had during our whole trip.

  • Esteban

    It is the same with a messy desk vs. a spotless one. The owner of the messy desk knows where everything is, regardless its physical appearance.

  • evah

    one of my favorite book store and the owner is evidently not claustrophobic :)