Right at Home in a Bookshop

So many places to go…so little time! If you’ve visited my blog or Facebook page, then you probably know that I love to travel. But I also love to take a bit of home with me along in my suitcase. And a bit of home to me consists of BOOKS! Of course I love books and my home is full of them. Way too many books to fit on my bookshelves. So when I travel, I carefully choose two or three…or five books to take with me. Yes, I also have the requisite e-reader, but I still love books. Actual books with pages and covers. Besides, if I’m flying anywhere, I have to have a book for the beginning and end of the flight when the airline makes you turn off all electrical devices.

Anywhere I travel, I have to also buy books. I know, I have a serious problem. Is there a rehab place for bookaholics? I usually buy books about a location or if I visit a art museum then I might need (yes, need) a book about all the wonderful art.

There is something about traveling and finding a bookshop, that makes me feel suddenly right at home. This summer when we visited Paris, I was anxious to visit the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookshop.

This bookshop has quite a history in Paris. It sits on the Left Bank. The original shop was opened by Sylvia Beach in the 1920s and was frequented by luminary writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. It closed during the Nazi occupation in 1940. However, a second shop was opened in the 1950s and renamed Shakespeare & Co. in tribute to Sylvia Beach.

The day we visited it was raining and crowded but oh it was so much fun to be there with so many books, which are really old friends. Most of the books are in English, and the shelves are crammed full of so many titles. Tables with new releases made me sigh with longing. Tables with classics made me smile with pleasure. Upstairs, someone played the piano. This typewriter sat in front of a window.

When you buy a book at Shakespeare & Co., they will stamp the inside cover of your book with a lovely stamp. It makes a nice souvenir. Of course, we bought several.

What is your favorite bookshop to visit, far or near? Do you travel with books or with an e-reader?

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