«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.»
I want to make Romeo jealous! I want the dead lovers of the world to hear our laughter, and grow sad. I want a breath of our passion to stir their dust into consciousness, to wake their ashes into pain.
Did you know? Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra fought at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), was wounded, captured, imprisoned; he escaped, was enslaved and finally ransomed. Returning to Spain, he worked as an army quartermaster but spent several spells in jail on financial charges.
Then, at the age of 58, he wrote the world’s best selling novel, Don Quixote.
In his modest house in Madrid’s Calle de León, Cervantes died on April 23, 1616, perhaps the saddest day in literary history ― for on the same day, the world also lost William Shakespeare.
If there really had been a Mercutio, and if there really were a Paradise, Mercutio might be hanging out with teenage Vietnam draftee casualties now, talking about what it felt like to die for other people’s vanity and foolishness.