«I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations.»
American publisher Sylvia Beach stands in the doorway of her bookshop “Shakespeare & Company”, during the 1920s. The shop gained recognition for being run by the only person willing to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses in the English language and was regarded as a haven for American expatriates in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s.
On the second floor of the shop, the ceiling is decorated with a night sky and a zodiac motif inspired by ceiling frescos from the Italian Renaissance, a time “when science and poetry were not separated,” …There are small leatherish sofas, and chairs upholstered in emerald velvet placed around a table in a reading room, so that you can browse through the store’s offerings, which also include a hundred and thirty-seven volumes from the Pléiade. Along with Proust and Lévi-Strauss and Colette and Montaigne and Flaubert, you can find Henry James, Kafka, Melville, Jane Austen, and Shakespeare, just in case you thought it might be time to have a go at them in French (“Est-il plus noble pour l’esprit de souffrire / Les coups et les flèches d’une injurieuse fortune, / Ou prendre les armes contre une mer de tourments, / Et, on les affrontant, y mettre fin?”). — Albertine Reparue: A French Bookshop in New York, The New York
This bookshop sits fabulously at the 972 Fifth Ave.
Mourir Auprès de Toi (To die by your side) (dir. Spike Jonze, Simon Cahn)
Spike’s new short film uses stop motion and tells the love story of two cut-out felt characters, a skeletal Macbeth and Mina Harker from Dracula, who come alive from the covers of books. It is beautiful and funny and sad and silly, and it’s set in the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop in Paris, which is important and which I love, so you should probably watch it. It’s pretty great.