Little Paris Bookshop: The Power of Books

It has been awhile since I have had a book club selection post, in case you are new, From Left to Write does not have traditional book reviews. We read books and then we use the book as inspiration to write a post. We might take a theme from the book or even talk about a memory that the book pulled out for us. In any case, these are not your typical reviews, I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!

Disclosure:¬†This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. {I actually received my copy of this book from NetGalley over the summer, but because of B2’s birth it took me this long to read it, so it was great timing that this was the From Left to Write book club selection for September}

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While I struggled a bit with the length of the book, what I didn’t struggle with was the underlying message. Books have the power to pull us in and help us heal, they can help us through a dark spot or even a bright one and give us a new a fresh perspective.

I remember the first time a book helped me heal. When I was in 6th grade one of my very close friends passed away suddenly. He wasn’t sick, it wasn’t expected, it was incredibly hard on our entire grade, over 20 years later I can still remember how hard the wake was, how a classmate fainted at the funeral. Kids have a hard time dealing with the everyday stuff that goes along with being a pre-teen, adding a death into that mix was something that none of us was prepared for.

I was always a voracious reader, piles of books littered my room, but after the death of my friend I struggled with the happy books I usually read. After a visit to the library and book store I found the book “Say Goodnight, Gracie“. The book was very similar to what I was going through, it helped me process my feelings.

Eleven years later my best friend passed away, again in a tragic accident, he wasn’t sick, it wasn’t expected. He was one of the brightest people I had ever known. I don’t mean in a smart way, although he certainly was very smart. I mean bright in the fact that he always lit up the room he was in, he could make you laugh when you were in the most terrible mood. He even predicted that I would end up with Nick, long before we even started dating.


jack and kelly

Since I transferred to the college that we went too, I ended up taking 4 years to graduate, because a lot of my credits didn’t transfer. 95% of my close friends had graduated and moved an hour away to Boston. I felt pretty isolated, no one that was still in the city with me really or truly understood what I was going through. Again, I turned to books (and food – but that is a post for another day). The one book I read over and over again was “Say Goodnight, Gracie”. This time I related very strongly with the main character, and to this day I still miss Jack very much. I missed him at my wedding, and I wonder who his wife would be, if our kids would be best friends?

I’ve read books since his death that have struck a chord with me, and related to the friendship that we had. While books don’t take your pain away, the help you heal in a way that maybe wouldn’t happen otherwise. I will always be thankful for books that have helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life.

What books have helped you through a tough time?

4 thoughts on “Little Paris Bookshop: The Power of Books

  1. When I was growing up we moved all the time–I was always the new girl, every few years. And while I eventually made friends in most of the places that we lived, reading books was a great comfort when I was lonely. I read tons of biographies and fiction. I loved to escape into stories that helped me feel less alone and that brighter days were just ahead.

  2. Reading your post helped me to realize that books have helped me through many of the most difficult times of my life. So many times I’ve been waiting at a hospital or doctors office or in the parking lot of a funeral home, or in the hotel room waiting for a funeral and my constant companion has always been a book.

    Recently my sister and I took my mom for a short medical procedure that had us in the waiting room for about 4 hours. My book was in my purse, my sister had her kindle but now that I am thinking about it I realize that we both pulled out our cell phones and wasted time on playing games and checking email and Facebook. We didn’t read! No wonder when we left I felt empty, like something had been missing. What was missing was logging time in with my old friend…a book.

    My phone will definitely stay in my purse next time!

  3. I love this. Books have also helped me through rough times and I love, love, love when a character reminds me of my college roommate, Mandi, who passed away not long after we graduated. It’s a way of reminding me of her presence in my life.

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