Some of the most interesting sites/sights in Paris are the covered passages that were once the commercial and shopping centers of the city. Architecturally and culturally, the 20-odd passages that still exist are among the most interesting places to visit if you are even remotely interested in the history of Paris. These mini-malls are generally within the golden tourist areas of the city and still offer very interesting shops and cafes for the visitor. If you could only see one of these historic areas, it should probably be the Passage Vivienne, located just behind the Palais Royal complex. Vivienne is the queen of the passages and has been beautifully restored and outfitted with wonderful boutiques and shops. I actually bought this book in a small, traditional bookshop in the Vivienne.
"Passages Couverts Parisiens" is only published in French, to my knowledge, but it is well illustrated and provides maps and addresses for each of the 20 entries in the book. Well worth the investment if you want to see the "real" Paris of periods that go back more than 150 years. Great little guide.