A couple of days ago I caught the 96 bus over to St. Paul in the Marais. I wanted to go to the Italian bookshop, La Tour de Babel, on the Rue du Roi de Sicile. The bookseller had recommended Dacia Maraini's books to me a year or two ago when I ran out of Elena Ferrante, and I wanted to buy another of her books to read--it's my way of gradually improving my Italian, a few pages a day--or much more if I really get into a book.

So I found another book, one he'd warmly recommended two years ago, which I had turned down in favour of something shorter and more plot-driven, and now it's sitting on the table waiting for me to begin it. My errand accomplished I wander up and down the rue des Rosiers, discovering a hidden park, then met a friend for a drink behind St. Gervais, and walked back home across two islands filled with people sitting in cafes in the late afternoon sun.