East of Paris Bookstore

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What We're Reading Now

While on the way to Le Meurice for my over-the-top Paris lunch, I walked by Galignani Bookseller on the Rue de Rivoli.  Galignani bills itself as "The first English bookshop established on the Continent."  In other words, it's been around since 1520 and has a large selection of books from the UK and the US and others parts of the world.  My kind of place:  filled with books and slightly musty.  Their website home page also features an attractive must-see video depicting the ambiance of the shop.

When I was there, I bought two books.  This is smaller than my usual book buying volume because I was also traveling with an iPad loaded with reading material.  As much as I like the iPad, there is still something very satisfying about holding a "real" book, turning its pages, and getting ephemeral whiffs of its paper and ink.






The books I bought for airplane reading were Jennifer Kloester's long and detailed biography of Georgette Heyer and Sarah Bradford's short and breezy biography of Queen Elizabeth II.



For me the length of each book was just right. The arc of Elizabeth's reign started shortly before I was born, so reading the book was like reviewing highlights of world events during my lifetime.  It was perfect for the first half of my flight home -- nothing new, nothing heavy, just a fast trip down memory lane.

The Heyer book was dense with information about one of my favorite writers.  Back in the day ... I spent many enjoyable hours reading most of Georgette Heyer's books.  And, from time to time, I enjoy reading them again.  Georgette Heyer wrote elegant and witty romances and mysteries. Her period pieces are charming and often comedic.  I loved them in my youth and still do.  So, while reading the biography, I learned when and where she wrote each of her books, which enabled me to recall and enjoy them once more.  This is a book to savor and read slowly with lots of pauses to dream about her characters, stately homes, and Regency fashions.



P.S.  These books are available for purchase via my "bookshop"' at Amazon, which appears at the top of my blog page.  ;-)







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