'You can count the bookshops dedicated to theatre in Paris on one amputated hand', the shop owner remarks wryly. The Coupe-Papier bookshop is one of the few surviving ones. Tucked away in the rue de l’Odéon opposite the illustrious theatre of the same name, this specialist in the stage arts is the haunt of students and amateur actors taking acting courses in the vicinity, as well as a site of pilgrimage for professionals. Not yet beaten by the general decrease in bookshop footfall, the shop boasts an old-fashioned charm with its aroma of ink, paper and dust.
The remarkable range includes some 14,000 reference works, reams of old editions resting on the higher shelves, a solid collection of scripts (both classics and contemporary pieces), opera librettos, several essays on performing arts (covering such topics as acting school, directors, dance and screenwriting), magazines and theatre reviews (L’Avant Scène, Mouvement, Théâtre Public, La Scène), DVDs and even pretty postcards. The owner may not seem too talkative at first, but don’t let yourself be taken in by appearances: if there’s something you’re looking for, this knowledgeable theatre buff will point you in the right direction without breaking a sweat.