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PARIS CITY GUIDE

An Old Institution

bibli1.jpgMy 3-year-old is a lover of books and her personal book collection is threatening to drawf mine. A week ago I decided it was time to take action so I took her to the local library. I have been kicking myself ever since that I had not thought of this before!

I had completely forgotten about public libraries. I vaguely remember going with my mom when I was a kid, but the thing I remember most is the musty smell of old, humid books in a scary Victorian building. My more recent memory of a library was a place to whisper sweet nothings and flirt at university; not much book reading was done.

Our local library here in Paris is a very distant and very modern cousin of the libraries of my childhood. Clean, bright and organised, there is a huge children’s section with little tables to sit at. All the books are kept at ground level so kids can browse through them all by themselves. I didn’t realise how much my daughter would love it — she was in heaven, discovering old favourites and new treasures. There is even a small international book section with English children’s books. Membership is free for anyone, so my daughter is now the proud owner of her first library card.

There was a faint echo of my university library days though, when I noticed her shimmying up to a little boy and having a giggle and a bond over a book. Oh well, I guess some things will never change; flirting will always be part of the library experience…

– Emilie


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