Unless you’ve been living in outer space for the last few years, you must know about the demise of independent bookstores. Even the big chain bookstores may be in jeopardy as we advance toward a paperless world. One of my favourite bookstores in the world is Shakespeare and Company in Paris but right here in Semur we have one that I think should be declared a French national treasure.

Of course not an English book to be found …

but that’s just fine. I love looking at all the covers, often austere and uncluttered compared to North American books. But there’s plenty of artful design to be found here. Like the way they display children’s books …

What child could resist the adventure of discovering the wonders here? All over the store there are old trunks and valises full of books just waiting for the sticky hands of a budding Balzac. The two Mademoiselles who run this exquisite shop have expanded with another floor full of things that tempt me more than anything hanging on the racks at Dior or Chanel …

At least I know where I’d spend my paycheque if I had one. They have a whole wall of beautiful papier and Frenchy cool file folder thingys that would be my undoing. But be warned, if you so much as hint about wanting a non-fat mochafrappolattecino and a frequent buyer reward card, they have an antique guillotine in the basement and they’re just dying to try it out.

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