Karen at Book Bath and Tamara at Thyme for Tea are hosting a special project this July, featuring the beautiful city of Paris. You can participate along with many others by clicking here.
Truth be told, I have actually never been to Paris. I have never even been to France. Perhaps though the reason why I have been in love with the city of Paris -- or at least the idea of it -- is because of the great need (or craving?) to visit it. Maybe I can start the first post for this July event by talking about how I even came about to fall for the city, despite the fact that I have never even been there myself.
I have to tell the truth; I am no longer a fan of Dan Brown. It is mainly because of his most recent book, The Lost Symbol. It was, to put it nicely, a bit self-indulgent and just plain unrealistic. However, when I was 12 years old, I happen to stumble upon a book recommendation from my Aunt -- who does happen to be a fellow book blogger you may know; Bookquoter -- suggesting I should read Dan Brown. So I did. I picked up her paperback copy of The Da Vinci Code, and I read. I read and read until there was no more. Truthfully, though I found the story entertaining in itself, what I fell in love with the most was the fact that the setting of the novel is in the city of lights itself. It oozed with information, background, and history. I pictured everything easily, as I did have an overactive imagination before. From there, my obsession with the city began. I began to think about myself walking on the very streets of Paris, drinking coffee, perhaps even eating macarons. Cliche, yes, but I did not care. I let myself venture with the thought, while I visit landmarks such as The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, among so many others.
I also realized that one of my favorite childhood books, The Little Prince, was written by a French author. I felt ignorant, not even knowing about this little bit of information. So I started craving and asking for anything related to French literature. Once, when my grandparents took me and my cousins to the bookstore -- to let us buy ONE book of our choice -- I gave up my usual choice; The BabySitter's Club by Ann M. Martin. What I picked up was a copy of The Stranger by Albert Camus. I felt all grown-up buying the thick novel, and though I didn't even read it until.. hmm.. 7 years later, I can still remember the purchase very well.
I was fourteen when I first watched and read Phantom of the Opera. I wanted to visit the Paris Opera House immediately, dreaming of its architectural design and history. I was also able to watch the movie, Amelie and fell in love with it. Next was Love Me If You Dare; I fell in love with that too. Then one day, I took a trip to the bookstore. This trip changed things for me in the French literary department. I bought a copy of Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, and I devoured it like I was starving. I read it in just a few days, and couldn't put it down. Did not want to put it down. It was a sad book -- a tragic one, actually -- but I fell in love with its story, the characters, and the incredible setting. I began to picture myself visiting the places the characters set their foot on, and from there, it was as if I was visiting the city itself.
Like I said in the beginning, I have never been to Paris. In imagination, I have been there, multiple times already. In my head, it is my favorite city. I want to visit. I want to go there. I want to breathe and smell its grandeur. Even my mom knows about my fascination with it and all about my hopes to visit the place. On Christmas 2008, she gave me a figurine of the Eiffel Tower. It's a simple gift, really, but attached to it was a little Post-it note, saying; "Someday." I still have it until today, standing on my shelves, next to my books. So yes, someday, I will go there, perhaps with her. That, I am certain, I would really, really love.