if you are ever in Paris, take the time to visit Shakespeare and Company. It’s a really old bookshop along the Seine, right beside the Notre Dame. It was frequented by a lot of famous writers back in the day. If visiting old bookshops is your thing, you wouldn’t want to miss this one.
I was able to drop by when I visited Paris for the second time. All the books inside were English books ranging from the classics to the contemporary. But when you go up the old rickety stairs to the premier étage, you are transported back in time as you find yourself surrounded by old, dusty, hard-bound books, complete with cozy nooks that temptingly invite you to sit down and read. These books are not for sale though.
It was not an easy task finding a book to buy as the ones that I was looking for were not available. Luckily, my husband found an Ernest Hemingway book for me, which was sitting right on the cashier counter. The one he found was written in French. I think it was the only book in french that they had for sale. But since it was written by an American author, I of course opted to get the English version. This one was obscurely tucked away for some reason, and they needed the stepladder to retrieve it.
Despite having read a lot of the classics back in high school, I have never really had the occasion to read anything from Ernest Hemingway. For one, I had already supersaturated myself with all the Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters’ novels before I made my way up to the likes of Ernest Hemingway. And by that time, I couldn’t take in any more of cheesy drama since I was forewarned that Hemingway had the propensity for this.
The book I bought was called A Moveable Feast. It is a personal diary of Hemingway, recounting his experiences back in the days when he was living in Paris as a struggling young writer. So far, I have read a couple of chapters, and I still find it interesting. There was even a chapter about Shakespeare and Company, back when it was still a library kept by Sylvia Beach. Somehow, reading this book makes me feel like i’m revisiting Paris for the third time. No regrets about buying this book for a meager price of 12 euros.