Vive “le Bookstore”

According to this NYT article, The French are still going to bookstores. In fact, bookstores in Paris are thriving – and book sales are increasing!  Owner of a small publishing house in Paris said “There are two things you don’t throw out in France — bread and books.” Besides their centuries-old reverence for the printed page, there is also the “Lang law” which has fixed prices for French-language books since 1981. And a small organization called Circul’livre determined to preserve the printed book takes over a small street near Montmartre once a month so customers can take as many books as they want – as long as they agree never to sell or destroy them.  Yet another reason to love Paris!


Book Covers that “Have Legs”

A while back I noticed (you may have, as well) that many book covers  were featuring feet, legs, and even shoes! I recall specifically The Paris Wife as one of these. Sure enough, there are observers out there who have compiled collections of book art to document this trend. See this link for a brief treatment of the foot/leg theme, but you must check out the rest of the entry which touches on the “Tiny Men Walking into the Distance” theme- quite funny!

Then I found this link which offers quite a comprehensive list of foot/leg covers. I don’t know how this writer found all these covers, but she claims they are worth reading, regardless of the cover art!

Shira S.

New U.S. Poet Laureate

Natasha Trethewey has just been named  the 19th poet laureate by the Library of Congress. Creative writing professor at Atlanta’s Emory University, she’s the first Southerner appointed to the post since Robert Penn Warren in 1986 (the first poet laureate), and the first African American since Rita Dove in 1993. In 2007 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Native Guard, and her newest book of poetry Thrall will be published this fall.  Much of her work deals with memory, “in particular the way private recollection and public history sometimes intersect but more often diverge. “The ghost of history lies down beside me,” she writes in one of her poems, “rolls over, pins me beneath a heavy arm.”  See the library catalog for more of her writings, and check out this NYT article and the NPR link to hear Ms. Trethewey read two of her poems.


The smell of books dying

On NPR’s Morning Edition program today, Margot Adler reported on the loud and passionate debate over the proposed renovation of the iconic main building of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street in Manhattan. The beautiful Beaux Arts-style building with those glorious lions guarding the entrance was opened in 1911 after nearly nine years of construction. The seven floors of stacks which are closed to the public hold 3 million volumes. Victoria Steele, head of collections, says, “It’s very hot and still in these stacks. It’s not good for the books. And actually, if you take a little whiff, that’s the smell of books dying.”

The hotly debated plan to demolish the stacks and move the books to a storage location under the nearby Bryant Park branch and to a climate-controlled location in New Jersey has many up in arms. The full story (see link above) goes on to present both sides.

Barbara L.

Meet Alan Furst!

Author Alan Furst visits EPL on Saturday, June 16th at 4 pm.

That’s right, folks.  NY Times Bestselling author Alan Furst is coming to EPL, and we couldn’t be more excited.  Described by Vince Flynn as “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” Furst will visit the Community Meeting Room of EPL’s Main Branch on Saturday, June 16th at 4 p.m. to read from Mission to Paris – the latest of his 12 critically acclaimed books.  As we eagerly await this very special event, we thought we’d share a pair of pleasant diversions to help pass the time until Mr. Furst’s arrival.  First, to help whet your appetite for Mission to Paris, check out this glowing NY Times review in advance of the novel’s June 12th release.  Then, as a final literary appetizer, don’t miss this insightful Wall Street Journal interview with Mr. Furst himself.  Enjoy, and see you on the 16th!