It Takes a Village
The Parisian Village Voice bookstore fights valiantly to stay alive.
It’s easy to miss, since the rue Princesse is a small street off the main tourist beat, but most people who come here know what they are looking for. At the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the section of the Latin Quarter traditionally favored by writers, artists, and students, just a short walk from the Luxembourg Gardens, the hanging sign reads village voice: anglo-american bookshop. The narrow window and door frames are painted Greek-island blue.
Once inside, you will notice a small, energetic figure, who will be behind the counter, darting up and down the spiral staircase with her arms full of books, phoning through orders in her small office in the back, listening sympathetically to a client’s woes, or recommending a book to a friend. Odile Hellier moves gracefully (she trained as a dancer), and when she’s
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