Excerpts from “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George

“Books aren’t eggs, you know. Simply because a book has aged a bit doesn’t mean it’s gone bad.”

“People who read don’t lie—at least not at the same time.”

“It was a common misconception that booksellers looked after books. They look after people.”

“A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

“Some novels are loving, lifelong companions; some give you a clip around the ear; others are friends who wrap you in warm towels when you’ve got those autumn blues. And some…well, some are pink candy floss that tingles in your brain for three seconds and leaves a blissful void. Like a short, torrid love affair.”

“He wanted her to sense the boundless possibilities offered by books. They would always be enough. They would never stop loving their readers. They were a fixed point in an otherwise unpredictable world. In life. In love. After death.”

“Whenever Monsieur Perdu looked at a book, he did not see it purely in terms of a story, minimum retail price and an essential balm for the soul; he saw freedom on wings of paper.”

“The world’s rulers should be forced to take a reader’s license. Only when they have read five thousand—no, make that ten thousand—books will they be anywhere near qualified to understand humans and how they behave.”

“He calls books freedoms. And homes too. They preserve all the good words that we so seldom use.”

“You have to dance the things you cannot explain,” Perdu said under his breath. “And you have to write the things you cannot express,” the old novelist thundered.

“Reading makes people impudent, and tomorrow’s world is going to need some people who aren’t shy to speak their minds.”

“A novel is like a garden where the reader must spend time in order to bloom.”

“Habit is a vain and treacherous goddess. She lets nothing disrupt her rule. She smothers one desire after another: the desire to travel, the desire for a better job or a new love. She stops us from living as we would like, because habit prevents us from asking ourselves whether we continue to enjoy doing what we do.”

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