In Praise of Bookstores

Jonny Diamond is at the heart of an enthralling and hopeful new project. He explains it best in his own words:

I lived in a bookstore in Paris for six months. It was a romantic and terrible experience: a Turkish toilet, cheap wine by the Seine, all the books I could ever read, cockroaches at the bottom of syrupy cocktails, freezing nights on a short cot in the art section. Wonderful and terrible.

While there, I met the man who would introduce me to my wife, the man who would give the speech at my wedding, and the man who would—years later, in New York—kick-start my professional life. Three different men, one bookstore.

The wife in question (the only, the wonderful wife) owned a bookstore in Brooklyn. It was there I went after Paris, for my first job in New York, cash-in-hand at the end of a shift. I loved that job, loved more what it led to. My wife, Amanda, now runs a different bookstore, in a different town. Happily, it has both bar and children’s section—my four-year-old and I can be found there often.

Bookstores have always been central to my life, and remain so: for the pleasures they afford, the opportunities they provide. Bookstores, at least for my young family, are both escape and livelihood.

To read the rest – and we urge you to do so – click here to visit the Literary Hub website.


About Jeremy Mercer

Jeremy Mercer is an author and translator who lives in in the Luberon with his fiancée, two children, five cats, two chickens, ten fish, and one pregnant dog. He is currently on the market for a cheap horse. More at
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