Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer Reading

Paris is emptying out for August. In the cheerful bookshop on rue St. Dominique, the narrow aisles were abuzz with departing vacationers looking for summer reading. The affable owner alternately greeted, rang up sales, and squeezed through the convivial clusters of her browsing guests. On the tables in center of the main room, her pride and joy: orderly piles of books that she has read and likes. The top book of each stack sported a handwritten post-it note with her personal recommendation. "I never read reviews," she beamed. "It must be a book that reaches my soul."

Darting through the crowd, she accompanied customers to this spot or that, pointing out books that she thought they'd enjoy. "Here, monsieur, this one is a touching love story," she suggested to one ruggedly handsome fellow.

"Ah, excellent," he nodded appreciatively. Then a pause. "But, then one wants a love like that in real life," he sighed. "It doesn't always turn out so well."

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