A booklover’s paradise : Shakespeare and Company, Paris
I walked along the streets of Paris one cold Sunday morning. The warmth of the sun provided some respite for someone like me who isn’t so used to temperatures that are closer to zero. But the hustle of the Parisian streets with its many cafes, eateries and other shops made the atmosphere lively. I had taken a hurried tour of the treasures that the Louvre had to offer. The amazement and wonder of looking down at Paris from atop the Eiffel Tower hadn’t completely died down. But there was one little treasure that I had yet to explore. Surprisingly or rather owing to my ignorance, this was a place that I had never heard of earlier though I should have! When my friend told me about it, “Let’s go” was all that I could say. Who could say no to a bookstore, especially one that had a history of its own?
Situated within a walking distance of the famous Notre Dame, the bookstore Shakespeare and Company is a world of its own. With its
When I reached the bookstore, I took some time to stand outside it and gaze at it in awe. Bookstores usually have some kind of effect on me, but this one mesmerized me. There were a few second-hand books kept outside the store. But what caught my fancy was the bench outside the store and the blackboards with some brilliant quotes. As I stepped through the
A huge collection of poetry books, from times old and new welcome you to the first floor. There’s a reading library here where the store’s motto “Be Not Inhospitable to Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise” is prominently written. There is typewriter in a corner and then there is a piano in the adjacent room. And yes, there is also a cat! There is a box where you can write and drop notes to strangers and these notes will be kept in different books sent to people from all over the world. Interesting, isn’t it? There is also an antique books section which unfortunately was closed on the day that I went. There is a cafe by the name “Shakespeare and Company” run by the bookstore and is adjacent to the bookstore.
It was only later that I got to know about the program called as “Tumbleweeds” where aspiring writers can stay in the bookstore provided they work for some time in the bookstore and write a short autobiography. Maybe someday I’ll go there again and be a Tumbleweed writing out my book. Well, that is the dream! The bookstore has a charm of its own that draws the book lover in you and makes you fall in love with its quaintness. As a souvenir, I bought a called “Browse : Love letters to bookshops around the world” (So apt, isn’t it?) and I got it stamped!
This is a place that I would like to again and again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures inside the store as it is prohibited. If you are book lover and you end up going to Paris, this a place you should not miss! And if you aren’t a book lover, maybe you should still go there. Who knows you might fall in love with books!