My Holiday in Bookshops

I know I may be a bit late with this post about my summer holiday, but it’s pouring with rain outside and I’m wearing four layers to keep warm. I cannot think of a better way to spend this afternoon than with a cup of tea, the Amelie soundtrack and some pictures of sunny France.

As I mentioned in a post on my holiday reads, I spent two weeks in August travelling from Belgium to France to Luxembourg with two friends. One of them took pictures of every bus, train and tram we saw (looking at you, Simon), but I – being a more normal person – photographed every bookshop.

Brussels: Galerie Botier

I won’t expand on this place too much, as I’ve already mentioned it in a previous post, but man, do I love this place. It’s a passage full of old bookshops and French paperbacks, go figure.

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Paris: Bookstalls along the Seine

On our way to the Notre Dame we encountered these boxes filled with books on the river banks. They are only two meters long but span about three kilometres all together. The ‘bouquinistes’ sell antiquarian and second hand books, as well as journals, stamps and trading cards. Don’t they make for a very picturesque view?

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Paris: Shakespeare and Company

I forced my companions into this store. It’s culture. Unfortunately, getting a nice picture was rather complicated. The outside is clouded by tourists and you’re not allowed to take a camera inside, so as not to disturb the people browsing for books. I took this sneaky mirror selfie, though.

Imagine an old English book store, with shelves to the ceiling and full of nooks and crannies. The air smells of paper and ink and you see stacks of books wherever you look. Mmm. Such a lovely thing to encounter in the middle of Paris!

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Dijon: Palace Darcy

No book stores in Dijon! I’m sure there are some, but sadly I didn’t encounter any. I did, however, spot an old acquaintance ;).

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Luxembourg: Librarie Ernster

Though it doesn’t look that attractive from the outside, this is quite a nice book store. It has a large winding staircase in the middle of the shop, that looks amazing but proved impossible to photograph properly. I’ll leave it to your imagination.

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We spent quite some time on the top floor, going through the impressive art books they had for sale. I had two favourites, one that highlighted particular parts of a painting with holes in the page in front of it and this book of Japanese prints. The pages were loose in the cover, which I found very intriguing.

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Luxembourg: All English Book Store

Another ‘English’ book store in a non-English country! Complete with English flags and a Charles Dickens poster.

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And that was it for my holiday pictures. In the time I’ve written this it has stopped raining! I will leave you with one very proud remark: even though I visited at least five bookshops, I only bought one book, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I loved it so much that I finished it before the trip was over.

Let’s get ready for socks and scarves season now!

P.s. Remember what I said about the rain stopping? Nope, there it is again.

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