Time Was Soft There

Time Was Soft There was one of the final books I purchased at my final visit to Nicholas Hoare in Toronto. When I bought I was with some wonderful book bloggers. The cover, of course, caught my eye. I only gave the description the briefest of glimpses before I purchased it.

I knew it was a memoir of time spent at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore. But that's pretty much all I knew. Like most books I pick up on a whim I avoid reading anything about it before reading it.

I'm not entirely sure exactly what I expected but I think I expected something a bit...lighter. Jeremy Mercer did not end up in Paris, or in the bookstore, by a series of happy events. While it's not exactly an uplifting read, it's a really interesting look at a place that I've always been very curious about. I think most people who have heard about the bookstore and it's offerings of free beds are a bit curious about it. This book certainly offers an interesting glimpse into that world. And for the Canadians in the crowd it offers an extra interest in that Mercer is a Canadian, formerly from Ottawa.

[Just a note that in the UK it seems to have a different title - it's called Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs. I prefer the US/Canadian title because it actually comes from something in the book.]

Also for anyone who has ever entertained a romantic notion of staying at the Shakespeare & Co Bookstore you either really want to or really don't want to read this book. It depends on how you feel about bathroom cleanliness.