Discovering Shakespeare And Company Paris

I’m not done with Paris yet. The one thing that stood out the most was a bookshop. In touristy quarters near Nostradamus no less, but Celine and Jesse re-met here. Naturally, I had to go see. In a French only Paris, Shakespeare and company started as an expat bookshop. There was a queue to get in, while they’re still in the business of selling books and getting English Indie authors to share stories. One of those rare times where I was so excited that I even spoke to the girl on the queueing counter. She shared students from the NYU get there on writing programs, and that August is crazy. I believed her.

Entering a proverbial candy store, I was immediately sucked into books. There’s a small and narrow staircase that goes up to another floor with real sleeping cats that look like pillows stashed on a chair. There’s a small typewriter in a fairy nook where you bend down to get in a write love notes. I didn’t expect that and left my Paris metro ticket there for love.

shakespeare and company Paris someplace Else upasna kakroo

Further away, there’s a reading room with sitting that looks uncomfortable yet chic. You are expected to remain quiet, and expect people to be reading, but I could not stop sharing what I was feeling there. Some books are like old museum pieces, not for sale. I could see myself being the Parisian expat going for every single book reading, volunteering to write and spending hours in hidden corners.

As I start moving towards a new expat status (soon, we’re moving again!) I was just thinking through which scattered pieces of me do I miss the most. And invariably these are contained in the lost line of a translated song, the Sunday second hand book streets opposite lanes of poets, and most importantly, languages that I dream in. It’s been a plural for a while. But there are a few that I crave for in uncertain times. That’s the thing I miss the most as an expat. So, while, I never really went through the expat sine curves, I crave a Shakespeare and company wherever I go.

I can’t say it any better than George Whitman who set up the Paris bookstore:

The store has rooms like chapters in a novel and the fact is Tolstoi and Destoyevsky are more real to me than my neighbours …

Some people call me the Don Quixote of the Latin quarter because my head is so far up in the clouds that I can imagine all of us are angels in paradise, and instead of being a bonafide bookseller, I am more like a frustrated novelist…

One hundred years ago, my bookshop was a wine shop hidden from the Seine…

One hundred days later, when I do have a bookshelf again?

Someplace else shakespeare and company paris upasna kakroo


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