Crack Books

Shakespeare and Company by Crack Books
Shakespeare and Company logo (image: Shakespeare and Company)

Shakespeare and Company logo (image: Shakespeare and Company)

After reading Jeanette Winterson’s article, “Down and out in Paris,” it has become clear what my dream job is: bookstore owner. But not just any bookstore owner; I want to own a store like Shakespeare and Company, where writers are welcome to stay rent-free so long as they read a book a day.

What a terrific concept!

Not only that, but I’m also seduced by the idea of a bookstore that isn’t as much about selling books as it is about getting people to read them. In most chain bookstores, even though I feel like sticking it to The Man by walking out at the end of the day without purchasing anything, I usually feel pressure to buy something after I’ve been there for a while. This is ridiculous, especially since I’m against the over-accumulation of material possessions, but it’s the kind of nagging feeling you get from the corporate world. It would be awesome to be go into a bookstore where you didn’t feel implicitly pressured to buy anything, where the staff were content to let you read as long as you liked, so long as you seemed to be enjoying yourself.

Then again, I suppose the word for those types of places is “library.”

Still, I find the article quite romantic, and the idea of living inside a bookstore, elbow to elbow with stacks of great literature while you sat down every day and attempted to bang out a novel worthy of their company is about the most awesome thing I can imagine. And who could turn up their nose at such an opportunity? Clearly, only book-hating heathens.


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