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 thoughts on “From Paris to Somerset…

  • March 30, 2010 at 10:41 pm
    Permalink

    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 !

    Reply
  • March 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm
    Permalink

    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!

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 12:47 am
    Permalink

    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…

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 1:41 am
    Permalink

    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.

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 5:08 am
    Permalink

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

    Carol N

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 8:15 am
    Permalink

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

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 11:20 am
    Permalink

    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!

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 11:41 am
    Permalink

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

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    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

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 7:52 pm
    Permalink

    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.

    Reply
  • March 31, 2010 at 8:46 pm
    Permalink

    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!

    Reply
  • April 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm
    Permalink

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

    Reply
  • April 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm
    Permalink

    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.

    Reply
  • April 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm
    Permalink

    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!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: