Here are my guide books that provided me details about a geographic location, tourist attractions, or most interesting itineraries in Paris.
Casa Editrice Bonechi – Italy. “The Golden Book”. Paris. 1995, 128 pages.
France. Le Petit Fute. Michel Strogoff & Ass., City-Guides, Country-Guides, Paris-Luxemburg-Moscow. 1999, 64 pages.
France. Polyglott Verlag GmbH, Munchen, 1993, 96 pages.
Around the World. France. Second edition. Publisher "Around the World", 2005, 544 pages. 79 cities, 168 museums, 300 churches and cathedrals, 22 Castles, 50 maps, 200 illustrations.
The Kings of France. Editions Quest-France. 1995. 36 pages.
Milena Ercole Pozzoli Paris "Cities and Countries", 2000 White Star, Italy.
We have found two guides that we feel are indispensable, especially if you want a real Parisian experience and not a touristy one:
First is the Marling Menu-Master for France. This little guide will help you translate just about any menu item you'll come across in a French restaurant. No more fear if your french is lacking and the waiter is intimidating. Not sure what dodine de canard is, check the book and enjoy your meal.
The second is the Paris Mapguide. Light in weight but heavy in detail. We use it when wandering around to find small streets, restaurants and to get back to the hotel if we've wandered too far.
Both are available from most bookstores or Amazon online.
Miscellaneous: This is a magical little map book, sort of like a teeny-tiny Mapsco of Paris. Each page has ALL the streets of each arrondissement, which number 1 through 20. You have an index of streets as well as metro, bus and some suburban train maps, too. You'll probably have several sizes/versions to chose from. Pick one up at your neighborhood newsstand or Monoprix for about 4-7 euros ($5-$9).
I would guess that more books have been written on Paris than on any other city. As well as being a hugely popular tourist destination, many writers from France and especially from abroad have settled here or lived in the city at some point.
My favourite books about Paris/set in Paris are:
Shakespeare and Co. by Sylvia Beach
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
The Lost Generation by Noel Riley Fitch
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco
Paris: A Literary Companion by Ian Littlewood
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Books of course. You will need something to read on the plane, on the train or just on your couch as you dream of Paris. I've still got my old 1986 guide from my first voyage. You must keep these preciously.
I also recommend "How Proust Can Change Your Life" by Alain de Botton. Unfortunately I've given my last copy away but I really do think that your Paris (and even French) experience will be much better if you read this before you come...how I wish I had a Celeste to take care of me and a Madame Strauss to correspond with...
To visit Paris, you need very good walking shoes, a good guide book, a detailed map and a compass.
Very good walking shoes. If you don't take care, you will have sore feet way before you have finished to visit Paris. Remember that the Louvre is hhuuuuge, Versailles even more and that there is much more to visit. Trekking shoes will be the best if you plan to visit Paris several days in a row, which I do not recommend, but I understand that if you are flying from a long way, that might be the only visit in Paris of your life and that you have to do it that way !
A good guide book. There are many and some are good. You will probably prefer to have a guide book in your language but if you can read French, I highly recommend the various "guide du Routard". They are printed every year and have always reliable tips. You can also have a look at their web site.
Miscellaneous: This little book is a " Godsend" if you are in a country that you have difficulty with the language, just look at the pictures and find one that is appropriate to your needs and point to it, simple!! Great travel aid.
Miscellaneous: If you are a regular traveller to Paris, you might find it handy to get a book called 'Paris par Arrondissement'. It is an A - Z of streets with maps and shows all those tiny little streets that the normal tourist maps do not. If you can't get one in your local bookshop, you can get one in the major bookstores in Paris. Ours also has a Metro and RER map.
My trip to paris was assisted with as always a couple of guidebooks - the best one I used was from "Rough Guides" a small book called Directions Paris.
This was very detailed and helpful.