Books, Booze, and Beds: 10 Legendary Haunts of Artists and Writers

Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France

Though Whitman ran Shakespeare & Company for almost 60 years, he was not in fact the first owner — he took up the mantle from Sylvia Beach, the founder of the original Shakespeare & Company, which stood not far away from the current incarnation and was a favorite browsing spot for James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. Whitman’s Shakespeare & Company also proved a haven for writers and poets, many of whom actually slept among the shelves on makeshift beds that Whitman lent out to them for as much as months at a time. Whitman also made friends with many established writers who would stop in frequently for readings or just to visit — people like Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Samuel Beckett and William S. Burroughs — though we can’t say if any of these were part of the 40,000-odd people he lodged there over the years.