So yesterday I was whining to Duchess Downith that I had absolutely nothing to write about today. Rien, tapped out. In a manner entirely befitting her royal highness she reminded me of her post called It’s The Library Stupid. Then she told me to stop being such a baby and drag my bony yet somehow simultaneously flabby arse up to my local library. She used clever tactics like multiple exclamation points and ‘seriously’.

I told her that I already had plans to go to the gym but then she broke out the tough love. “Do both,” she said. “Choose life,” she said. That’s the trouble with the Duchess, she’s very convincing and always right. So after I hit the gym (where there was actually another woman (!), naturally the most beautiful and fit woman in all of France but still) I made my way in the pouring rain to la bibliothèque.

While the outside is spectacular the inside is much like any other small town library. There’s a huge separate room for kids (separate being the key word for me here), lots of magazines and racks and racks of books. Never before I have seen so many French words assembled in one place. It was slightly horrifying for me to be in a room full of books that I have no hope of understanding but it was reassuring to see a few familiar faces …

Let me tell you there’s a French word in that title that I know all too well and it’s not powerpoint. So with the vision of Duchess shaking a ruler in my face and her admonishing voice in my head I sought out the librarian. Five minutes and five euros and ninety centimes later I had this:

As I walked away toward the children’s room to find something suitable for a nul like me (technically a nulle because I’m a girl) I thought well, it never hurts to ask, “I don’t suppose you have any English books?” Then I was handed something so precious that it was kept in a locked filing cabinet.

Oh I know it doesn’t look like much but it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. A list of ENGLISH BOOKS! Okay maybe a bit heavy on the Anne Rice side but who cares? I had to decide quickly as the librarians were slowly coming to the understanding that I was taking pictures (blind and mostly from my pocket as you can see). They operate by the rule of threes, three books and three magazines for three weeks. I didn’t want to be too greedy so in the end I left with these:

Yes, I wimped out on the French books but I compromised (no, I don’t mean the Tom Clancy, I’ve never read one so what the hell) with two French magazines. By the way you haven’t seen a home design mag until you’ve seen a French one, about five ads and the rest bursting with droolworthy maisons.

So I say to Madame Downith, merci bien. Without you I’d have nothing to read but more importantly neither would anyone else here today so ye crowd better thank her too. Oh and yes Duchess, I did eat all my brussel sprouts.