Booking Through Thursday asks:
If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)
I hope this doesn’t sound too clichéd because it does to me when I first conceived the idea to write a novel, in stream of consciousness, of a day at the bookstore. The book’s format would be reminiscent of the film Smoke, following the lives of multiple characters, all of whom are connected by their patronage of a bookstore like Shakespeare & Company in Paris. When I was in Paris last summer, I spent a lot of time lingering, browsing, poring and people-watching at the landmark. People in all colors and origins came and went, some were serious readers and others tourists who just wanted a snapshot of the bookstore. For three or fours days I paid my visit, I noticed they have a core clientele of regulars who arrived prepared with a list of books. Americans in Paris, wealthy wives, backpackers, foreign students—they all converge at this haven of books and call each other by first names. What are their stories? What brought them to Paris? Do their liaisons go beyond the threshold of the store? The book would pan into a day at the bookstore, with flashbacks of lives. I’ve got a few characters sketched in my mind. A rich woman comes in to buy books and falls in love with the owner. She’s sorta like Anna Karenina. Some old man, survivor of the Holocaust, died in the rabbit warren of the shelves—but the death was no accident….