Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shakespeare and Company

If you're ever in Paris and happen to be as big of a fan of books as I am, visit the original Shakespeare and Company, opened by George Whitman:

The Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart

When Frances Steloff was president of the American Booksellers Association she told me that my bookstore had drifted into being the sort of place that might have been designed by the world's greatest architects. I have let my imagination run wild with the result that a stranger walking the streets of Paris can believe he is entering just another of the bookstores along the left bank of the Seine but if he finds his way through a labyrinth of alcoves and cubbyholes and climbs a stairway leading to my private residence then he can linger there and enjoy reading the books in my library and looking at the pictures on the walls of my bedroom.


I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is "Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise". I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world.

- George Whitman

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At 10:01 AM, Blogger Ajana said...

i'm wowed by this - it sounds so amazing. now i have questions - there's so much to tell about your trip; i feel like maybe you should save some of them for our endless stoop sitting this summer


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