The photo you see to your left is one I took today with my iPhone through a window of one of the many Anciennes Livres (bookstores) that line the streets of Paris. It's refreshing to see the reverence one finds for the written word - viewing this antique printing press is one of the many pleasures from which I profit, living in this stimulating and delightful city. People are reading everywhere. The buses are full and no one is idle - they are reading newspapers, books, journals, or writing on their laptops and notebooks. Haven't spotted a Kindle yet. The covers of the books are subtle - just the title of the book, usually in black and white, that entice one to pay attention to the content. No ostentatious book covers in these windows. Book signings abound, and I've been to several in the month that I've been here. Venues such as The American Library, The Village Voice, Shakespeare & CO, and yes, even The San Francisco Book Company are but a few that host and promote authors and support the expat literary community. There are also numerous writing groups in Paris. It is an ideal city in which to write, as the atmosphere is thick with the ghosts of ancient scribes. I'm having lunch on Sunday at La Closerie des Lilas, opened in 1847. The voices of Rimbaud, Jean-Paul Sartre. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, etc. are but a few the authors that echo within. Paris is a city of dreams... And, oui, I'm reading manuscripts like crazy while I'm here, looking for that new voice.
Kimberley in Paris, 30 Octobre, 2009