Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Trade

Paris--Kenya--Spain, part three.

Before we headed out on our trip, I mentioned to Maryann that I wanted to be sure we visited Shakespeare and Company, an infamous English bookshop on the left bank in Paris, just across from Notre Dame, and the subject of documentary entitled Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man.

Maryann found out from the shop's website that one of her favorite authors, Lydia Davis, would be giving a reading while we were there. So we attended. And reveled. And bought books.




We also went to the Village Voice Bookshop in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris. It's an English language bookshop that opened 30 years ago, around the time I was on study abroad. Sadly, it is closing this summer, so this visit was both my first and last. I had a nice chat with one of the shop owners and, of course, bought a couple of books.


I also wished I could move right in. 


Later on in the trip, after we toured the Alhambra in Grenada, Spain, we spent a little time browsing the gift shop. Earlier in the day, I'd seen the UPS driver deliver a stack of boxes to the shop with a hand truck, including this Baker & Taylor box. It reminded me of the old days at our bookstore, when our UPS driver delivered stacks of boxes with a hand truck, including Baker & Taylor boxes. Baker & Taylor was one of our primarily distributors. I had no idea it was an international company, but of course why not?


I bought a copy of Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra there and started reading it straightaway, especially enjoying his description at the beginning of traveling from Seville to Granada. We ended up going the opposite direction that afternoon, but for us crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains was fraught with far less hardship and danger. We didn't run into any contrabandistas or bandoleros along the way. In fact we didn't run into any trouble like that during our entire trip. Not even a pickpocket. 


4 comments:

DangerKat said...

You would make a wonderful traveling companion. Visiting bookstores in Paris? I should have been on this trip!

DangerKat said...

You would make a wonderful traveling companion. Visiting bookstores in Paris? I should have been on this trip!

shelley said...

Sad the Village Voice is closing, but I'm glad you got to visit. I want to hear more about the Alhambra! I'm definitely going there before I die.

misssrobin said...

I imagine your visit to The Village Voice was a bit tender. And that your conversation was important to the owners. Shared experience is so powerful.

Pang in my heart for The Read Leaf.