If you are a book-lover Shakespeare and Company is something of a required pilgrimage when you are in Paris, and for very good reason. Though it is not the original store founded by Sylvia Beach for the Lost Generation, it nevertheless very much retains at least what we now imagine to have been the spirit of that original. It is also crazy popular. Though it would be easy to be annoyed with the wall-to-wall throngs I actually find them quite encouraging--they really did mostly seem to be browsing and buying books, and not just being lookey-loo tourists--and most of them were young people. Young Americans traveling abroad buy books! What could be more encouraging than that? Here are few books I was excited to see on the shelves there:
Was ridiculously chuffed to spot The Thing The Book, which I edited, sharing pride of place in the front of the store with Grace Coddington and other luminous art and design titles.
I also worked on If I Were a Book. And The Water and the Wild is a Chronicle book as well, from our children's department.
A favorite colleague of mine edited Welcome the Day (the white book with the red flower and yellow sun, above). I actually emailed her this picture from the store.
I wasn't kidding when I said the other day that I did zero work in Paris--taking these three photos of Chronicle Books in the wild was, I'm pretty certain, the only time I thought about my job the whole time I was there. But what a happy and exciting thing to have for that one moment of job-thinking!
I do not know why the name of San Francisco's own legendary bookstore City Lights is emblazoned over the door, but I do know that I very much like the fact that it is.