Recommended Reads: Time Was Soft There

Thursday, 30 September 2010

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Sorry to post so late today, I'm getting behind!
Hope you have a great weekend.
Pictures of my haircut and a newly finished sweater to come next week.

The first time I read about the Shakespeare & Company Bookstore in Paris was in the October 2005 issue of Nylon Magazine. Rachel Antonoff wrote a piece about spending a week making pancakes and sleeping among the book stacks. It sounded like heaven.

Jeremy Mercer's Time Was Soft There presents a less heavenly, but not too unpleasant version of his own time spent living at the store. Okay, the British title is Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs if that's any indication of the sanitary conditions (cockroaches receive a few mentions, as well). The bookstore was opened in Paris by George Whitman in 1951 and has since been home to many artists and writers in need of a place to stay.

I don't usually gravitate towards non-fiction, but I found it hard to resist a true tale from my favorite bookstore (that I will visit someday). Surprisingly, it read very similar to fiction; the bookstore is full of wild characters and events that make Mercer's book seem like a work of his imagination. That the history of the bookstore is interspersed between Mercer's tale is like a bonus: great story and I learn something!

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

This sounds like a really great book! Right now I'm reading "A Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" by Lewis Buzbee, which is also non-fiction about love of books and bookshops. So far, no cockroaches, but it's pretty interesting.

Julie said...

Oooh, I'm intrigued!!! Sounds really interesting. I'll put it on my to-read list post haste!

Anonymous said...

Intriguing indeed...You have impeccable literary taste, Erica (and fabulous nails as well!)

Lina said...

Intriguing indeed...You have impeccable literary taste, Erica (and fabulous nails as well!)

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