The quote comes from pages 149 and 150
By the age of fifteen, libraries and her father's infatuation with books had lost their charm for Nicole. Library as babysitter, as place to meet nice boys, as reliable locale to tell the parents she was when she really wasn't. (Oh, that Nicole? Such a smart girl, spending so much time at the library.) Not one library was as impressive as the one before her. The Bibliotheque Nationale was a palace: a house of books the length and breadth of a generous city block. A sign, written in four languages, directed her past a boutique window decorated with flying pigs statuettes and to the rue de Richelieu. Double gates, flags, and its name carved into the stone above marked the entrance where she surrendered her purse to an African security guard and passed through the metal detector.Nicole was impressed with just the entrance. Imagine how much more impressed she would have been had she made it into the oval reading room!
The foyer was a corridor of remodeled beauty: a glass-enclosed bookstore, marble counters, a reading room - cordoned off by carts filled with three-foot lengths of steel poles. Nicole peeked through an open door at blue walls and table lamps, wooden desks comparable to church pulpits, and imagined Hugo, Dumas, de Tocqueville laboring inside the circular room. Farther down the hall, a curved staircase wound up to the second floor.
Of course, if I was going to be in Paris looking at bookish delights, I would also have to stroll among the booksellers along the Seine:
And I wouldn't be able to resist a visit to Shakespeare and Co. (quote from page 185)
From the Seine they went to the little bookstore whose reputation overcompensated for its floor space. The interior of Shakespeare and Company was a book lover's fantasy, every wall covered from beamed ceiling to checkered floor with books by English-speaking authors.Not sure that date is correct, but still. By the way, did you know that there is a Shakespeare and Company podcast where they share some of the events they have at the store! I didn't know until today.
"This store is as popular as it was when it opened in 1956. There's even a little bit of black history here." Laurent ran his fingers over a few volumes. Nicole watched him examine the titles and take one from a shelf. Books lined one wall of his living room. An organization Squire, for all his love of books, never imposed on his.
"The owners held a reception for Richard Wright the same year they opened. Baldwin signed copies here of Go Tell It on the Mountain. Your father's favorite, Langston, read in the sixties. Abbey Lincoln sang and read poetry. I guess that's why Loot loves it here. It reminds him of the past."