I have a confession to make. Paris is my favorite place in the world but, in all the times I’ve been there, I’ve never been to Shakespeare & Company, one of the world’s most iconic bookstores. This is a travesty, I know—and one I will rectify at the earliest opportunity—but it’s just that every time I’ve been there, I seem to have been there with someone who hadn’t visited the city before and we had limited time. (Or I’ve been there with someone who hadn’t visited Paris before, I had limited time and I was there mainly to attend a Harlan Coben signing in La Defense.) Therefore I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower more times than anyone should, but I’ve never been to Shakespeare & Co. This wonderful video is the closest I’ll get to it for the moment:
Visit the Shakespeare & Co. website here (the homepage is currently a beautiful tribute to George Whitman, the owner, who died in December aged 98) or read about what it’s like to live in the bookshop in Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co., a memoir by Jeremy Mercer. And although I’d warn against it, if you want to fuel your writing-in-Paris daydreams, invest in a copy of Eric Maisel’s A Writer’s Paris. You’ll be saving for a Parisian studio apartment rental before you reach the last page, I promise/warn you.