(Photo: Simon Nofolk)
One of my favorite places in Paris is Shakespeare and Company bookstore. If you've never been there, put it on your itinerary for the next time you are in the City of Light. George Whitman, proprietor for more than 50 years, died yesterday, December 14, at the age of 98. I became fascinated with this place after reading Jeremy Mercer's Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare and Company. Whitman took in writers and let them stay in the store. There are beds tucked in every little corner of the building. It is crammed full of books, all in English. I have spent hours in there searching for an old volume of poetry or some other treasure to take home as a special gift. The cashier will stamp the inside of the book for you if you ask. Sylvia Whitman, George's daughter, will continue to run the shop.
I put my business card on the bulletin board there a couple of years ago. I couldn't resist.
I took the BFF and Mo there, too.
I read that Mr. Whitman will be buried in Père Lachaise cemetery. Rest in peace, George. I never met you, but you will certainly be missed.
Bon appétit, George. I am sorry we never shared a glass of wine. Adieu.