~Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light~Vera Nazarian
June 21st, 2015
I don’t need Prozac
Books and the places that house them are
my Home- my Meditation – my Zen.
It is where I can breathe even.
So why wouldn’t I seek them out when I travel?
Once, while walking in the tiny village of Bagno Vignoni in the Tuscan country side,
a town that celebrates water
enjoying Il Dolce Far Niente
– the sweetness of doing nothing-
I came upon a fantastic book store.
A modern space which brought the quietness of the outside in-
Librorcia Bagno Vignoni
Via delle Sorgenti 38
Truly a magical discovery.
Book shelves lined the walls up to the ceiling
– a mix of books in English and Italian.
The young Italian man in charge
completed the welcoming space
inviting us to sit.
He told us the story of Pinocchio who was born near here.
It was here that I bought the book-
War in Val d’Orcia, An Italian War Diary 1943-1944
in which Iris Origo shared her experience of living in the Val d’Orcia region of Tuscany
at a time when
Mussolini ruled your world
and therefore your fate.
And you thought that bookstores just held books.
But really it as if you take a magic carpet ride into the life and soul of another.
…books fall open
-I fall in
And this is why I love bookstores….
When in Paris-the city of enlightenment- bookstores are a must stop for me.
An outdoor bookstore…does it get any better?
The Bouquinistes have been part of the Paris landscape since the 16th century.
I always set a time in Paris to walk along the banks of the Seine
checking out the treasures from the green boxes of the Bouquinistes.
Here I am strolling the quays of the Seine-
That’s not me!
…but IT IS what I FEEL like in my head.
Wandering from green box to green box -letting my eyes fall on whatever brings interest.
It took me a few trips to Paris before I got to Shakespeare and Company…
I first had to get lost,
And get my phone stolen by a good looking college aged young man,
who stepped up to help me
after I was dismissed by La Mademoiselle cashier at the upscale department store
when I asked her for directions.
I suppose he figured in exchange for giving me Shakespeare & Co he could take my phone.
Not a bad exchange in retrospect…
Shakespeare & Co is a bookstore with a Soul.
It holds secrets and stories from times past,
which continues not only with changing owners and locations,
but in being the subject of many books
…books about a place that holds books-now that is something.
Staying near here on a recent trip, I made this a daily stop.
I overheard two young men talking about the American jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie
-for someone reason this is so satisfying to me to know that two young people still discuss Dizzy and his gift to the world.
Shakespeare & Co
37 Rue de la Bûcheirie
5th Arrondissement Paris
And then there is this one that got away when I was in Venice.
Libreria Acqua Alta
Calle Longa Santa Maria Foromosa 5176/B
Sestiere, Castello, Venice
I now know that I need to seek these places out before they are swallowed by the changing times.
One to discover on my upcoming trip to Florence.
Via dei vagellai 8,
Florence Tuscany, Italy