Tuesday, 30 March 2010

From Paris to Somerset...

What a jet-setting lifestyle. About a day after arriving back from Paris, I was off to Somerset, which is where I now am, tucked up in bed in chilly Chiselborough.

Quick entry - to say that, after years of meaning to (and none too subtle hints dropped, to no avail, when I was in Paris in 2005) I have been to Shakespeare & Company bookshop! Here I am in front of it...


(Yes, fact fans, that is the first - and probably last - time I've put a photograph of me up on here - that's how big a deal a visit to this bookshop was!) To be honest, it wasn't a huge temptation away from my Project24 resolve - because it's mostly a new-book bookshop, and the lovely floor of older books upstairs are browsing only (so I didn't look at them too carefully, lest there be anything I really wanted and couldn't have.) But the shop has a lovely feel, and I was keen to have a souvenir to take away from it, so step forward book no.8...


I love the NYRB Classics series, both for book choices and for production quality, and I love Sylvia Townsend Warner. I could have bought Summer Will Show anywhere, it is true, but it seemed appropriate to have it as my Shakespeare & Co. souvenir, since it's set in Paris. More on it when I read it... cos I'm going to bed now. Au reservoir!

17 comments:

  1. Good for you! We saw the storefront in the video of Julie and Julia the other night and I had to stop the movie to tell my husband about how famous it is. I'm trying to talk him into a London trip for our 20th anniversary next year, but I doubt I'd get him to hop over to Paris - if I went to Hay on Wye first, their probably wouldn't be enough money left to go to Paris! ;)
    So glad you had a good trip...now you just have to find a way to distract yourself from shopping until May 1 !

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  2. I'm still kicking myself that I chose to go shopping instead of going to Shakespeare and Co the last time I was in Paris which was in 2004. They were in totally different parts of town. The shopping trip wasn't very successful of course and that's why I always wished I had gone to the bookstore instead. Hoping to make it to Paris this summer and this time S&Co is definitely no.1 on the list!

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  3. This makes me very jealous, Simon! Hope you had a wonderful trip.

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  4. Wow... I think I just turned wicked-witch-of-the-west-green. Super awesome that you got to go to Shakespeare and Co!! Jealous to the max. Have a fabulous time in Somerset!

    Elise
    http://onceohmarvellousonce.blogspot.com/

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  5. I love Shakespeare & Co. particularly because the first time I went there was after extended travel in Central Europe, where English-language books were few and far between. To find a storefront positively bursting with books that I didn't need translation efforts was joyous! I could have browsed for hours, but my companions limited me to only one. Like you, I bought something simply so that I would have momento - I spent 2 euros on an old travel guide that I then brutually highlighted and tore pages from as I wandered. Such happy memories...

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  6. I've seen the storefront myself in a video but its good you were able to actually go there and visit. The book looks very good btw.

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  7. Did you see the cat? It was asleep on the piano when I went (and I loved the notice saying 'please play'.

    Carol N

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  8. Ooh, lucky you! Have you read the book about it? And up to book number 8 - that's the end of April!!

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  9. That does sound like a wonderful book shop, thank goodness I am not planning on popping to Paris anytime soon. Maybe you should have popped an embargo of only buying books in the UK count hahaha!

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  10. How wonderful! You should tuck that photo inside the cover of your souvenir book, not that you would ever forget such a visit.

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  11. Very cool! And that's a great picture, btw. :)

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  12. Simon - I have also, literally *always* wanted to go to this shop - and was thinking of dragging my husband there this weekend as we only live 40 minutes away so it would be *ridiculous* not to.... Is it true that all of the books are stamped with the Shakespear & co stamp? I read that somewhere. Anyway, enjoy the loot of this trip!

    Hannah

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  13. Oh Simon ... I'm so glad you put a photo up! And I'm incredibly jealous of your trip. One day I will make it to Paris.

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  14. Susan - I'm amazed by how many people haven't heard of the place, it's been a sort of Mecca in my head for a few years now. But I'd still rather be in Hay on Wye, definitely!

    Mrs. B - You'll have to go back! There are so many things to do in Paris - I was quite pleased that I'd 'done' all the most touristy things in previous trips, and could just concentrate on the things I really *wanted* to do - mostly spend time with my friend!

    Read the Book - thanks :-) good jealousy, I hope!

    Elise - what a brilliant description of jealousy! I hope you manage a trip to Paris one day

    Claire - that must have been like an oasis in the desert! I found the lack of English bookshops quite useful for Project24...

    Mystica - I'm not sure I'd even seen a photo before, so I had no idea what to expect.

    Carol - no, no cat! That would have made the trip perfect. Someone was playing the piano, though, so perhaps it had been woken up and slunk off...

    Verity - I haven't read the book, but it's now on my Amazon wishlist...

    Simon - I did suggest Paris as an exception to the rule, but was shouted down by my friend...

    Darlene - I did buy a nice postcard of the shop to tuck inside, which will be lovely to use as a bookmark too.

    Tiffany - thanks :)

    Hannah - oh, you have to, considering it's so close! And, yes, they did give me a stamp - it's optional at the till, and of course I said yes.

    Kristen - one day you will! You must!

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  15. Love your photo, Simon! And the book you chose is gorgeous!

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  16. I am so very jealous of you !! You went to Paris - wow and then you visited Shakespeare and Co. bookstore- double wow.
    I would love to go there someday myself.

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  17. That's a great photo! I've been to the Shakespeare & Co in Vienna (did you know there was one there, too?). That was a long time ago and I couldn't afford the books as the English language books were imports and extremely expensive. That year I subsisted on used books--luckily for me that meant a variety of works by Margaret Atwood!

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