Thursday, 4 February 2010

A day off work on the archipeligo of words

I've taken two days off work to spend a bit of time with Dr B as he continues (we hope) to recover. This afternoon we took the F bus to Gex our local sous préfecture. The idea was that we would visit the second hand bookshop called "l'Archipel des mots" - the archipeligo of words. We failed in our other objective of finding a tearoom that was open but we did manage to get there and back on public transport.
They have monthly philosophical, psychological and literary "cafés" in the evening and are hosting events for the "poets' springtime" in March. It's a lovely cosy environment and there's a great selection of books in French, English and Spanish - the three languages that the owner and bookworm Anne Soubra-Belay reads.
Did we come away empty handed? Us from a bookshop? Of course not. Our best discovery was definitely "Switzerland for Beginners" by the wonderful George Mikes, it looks as if we've picked up a first edition from the year before my birth. His "How to be an Alien" was one of my German émigré family's favourite books.
However I am feeling very virtuous that managed not to buy a first edition of Albert Camus "Carnets", fascinating as it looked I just know I won't get around to reading it just now but I think we will certainly have to return to l'archipel des mots just before our next holiday to stock up on some reading matter. They also have a really good local history section about the Pays de Gex and a section of new books by local authors. The only thing they didn't have today was any chocolate cake so we'll have to go back to test that too.