George Whitman, owner of Paris’s Shakespeare & Company bookstore, has died at 98. I visited this Left Bank institution a few years ago and remember walking quietly through the stacks to avoid waking sleeping boarders. Famously, people were permitted to sleep in the shop in exchange for a few hours of labor in the store. The shop was directly across the Seine from Notre Dame and specialized in English language materials. Whitman was a great influence on the expatriate community that flocked to Paris in the 1950s. Acolytes included George Plimpton, a founder of the Paris Review, and Lawrence Ferlingetthi, who modeled his San Francisco establishment City Lights Books on the Paris bookstore. Whitman will be buried in Pere Lachaise.

(image/Celebrate Greatness)