Galignani, or “the first English bookstore established on the continent,” is my bookstore of choice in Paris. I know everyone swears by Shakespeare & Co. and I can’t really comment since I haven’t been though I’m sure it’s a lovely place. Regardless, Galignani is my favorite more so for the editions of the titles they choose, than simply the selection. Think beautiful typography, matte, embossing… not to mention the almost complete Great Ideas & Great Love series by Penguin, both of which I’m determined to acquire sooner than later. They carry both English and French titles and in addition to having a nice literature section (pictured above), they also have a pretty solid current events/politics section and an impressive arts wall with large, gorgeous hardbacks.
Anyway, there was a string of days where I’d go to Galignani everyday and pick up a new book, even if books are probably one of the worse traveling items. Galignani is on Rue Rivoli, right across from the Tuileries, so I’d usually grab my book and head over to the gardens and read by the fountain. There’s a lot of clamor around the area because of the little carnival and the fountain could be be crowded sometimes, but it’s easy to shut everything out and get lost in your book, especially if you manage to snag one of the reclined chairs. As with any anticipating ending, we are prone to reflections and such. I’ve really enjoyed my time in Paris this month* because I was able to do things I’d normally enjoy, but in a different setting. I’ve told a few people this already but instead of reading at Peet’s on Wilshire or Urth in Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, I could read in a café overlooking the Seine or with La Tour Eiffel peeking overhead. Instead of running the loop around Westwood, I could run to Parc Montsouris near my apartment or take a longer run to Jardin du Luxembourg.
Those are the books I couldn’t resist buying. To be fair, I bought Monocle at WH Smith, another bookstore down the street. WH Smith only carries English titles and is a lot bigger, which is good if you’re looking for something more obscure, but I prefer Galignani. So, I have this habit of snapping iPhone photos of books I really want but know I shouldn’t buy. I was going to ramble about the underlying psychological or philosophical reasons for this, but realize it may be completely nonsensical, so I’ll refrain. Just know that this is a persistent habit. Also, I’ve read about half the books and am now on Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking and cannot bring myself to read it in public spaces because I may or may not burst into tears spontaneously. Anyway, this last photo is of some things I bought from the concept store, Merci. Much has been said about it and it’s mostly all true.
*Not be to presumptuous about anyone reading older posts, but just know that I had my opportunity to dance to California Girls at Le Montana last night, though that’s another story. Merci for making it this far.