Shakespeare and Company alone might just be about half of the reasons that I adore Paris so much. This tiny little bookshop on the left bank has been a haven for bohemian types since 1941, a quiet escape from the bustling streets of gay Pariiii..
The late George Whitman offered beds to writers, artists, aspiring actors and creatives alike, but on one condition: they must write him their biography first. Shakespeare and Co was a temporary bed for Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray – the list goes on – and most people who have passed through this “light in a dull and homogenised world” have left their mark in some way.
Shakespeare and Co sadly lost it’s founding father in December last year, but this little literary museum has been passed on to the safe hands of George’s daughter, Sylvia Whitman, who will no doubt continue to run it with the same passion and morals as the great Mr Whitman himself.
eBooks, Kindles, whatever… can never live up to this. Who doesn’t love the smell of an old book?
Speaking of which, this one is fantastic: a beautiful story of a troubled American who found a home in Shakespeare and Co.
…and if you like this post you can buy me a ticket to Paris, oui?