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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.