3 juin 2013

A tiny street and a tiny store. But whoever ventures through the welcoming front door will be awestruck by the stacks of books that reach the ceiling, veritable New York sky-scrapers. And indeed the front door swings open easily and frequently thanks to the ample hours of Brian Spence, the owner, an American with notably British composure. The public is invited in from 10h to 19h daily and occasionally even until 21h for olives and aperitifs. Try to imagine 40,000 books stored in 60 cubic meters. I’ll let you do the math, but it suffices to say that one cannot be much overweight to slip between the stacks of the Abbey Bookstore. Its well-organized abundance still begs the question of where to look, or where to turn one’s head, first. Let’s take a book at random, The Great Gatsby since it is in style: a magnificently bound edition, in white leather embossed with silver scrolls, by Penguin Classics, a jewel at 22 euros.

Great books and great music

For half the price, there is equally seductive version of Arcturus. Just below, Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina are dressed in leather of irresistable colors and soft textures, by Canterbury Classics. They lean elegantly against their neighboring second-hand volumes. The secret of this unique selection? Precisely its singularity. There are almost no duplicate editions in the store, with the idea “that’s what a computer is for.” Digital means can also be summoned if you are searching for an unavailable or particularly rare book, or to magically broadcast a 20s music program courtesy of Radio Dismuke, which we will tell you more about in the future. In sum, this is the place to dream away your hours in a lush forest of books. You will touch, browse, and to slowly come into to yourself. You will also most assuredly stay up late.

The Abbey Bookshop-29 rue de la Parcheminerie- Paris 5ème infos


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