I loved reading but I loved books almost as much. Their look, their smell, their weight enshrined, to me, the worth that others found in religion, in bricks and mortar, even in relationships. A book could be friend, lover, family, priest, but more reliable than any of these. With books, one could wall off the world. In their shelter, a calm prevailed more profound than that of the stars or the sea.
Though griffe literally translates as 'claw,' Parisians have redefined it to mean 'stamp,' 'label,' or 'signature.' It describes the pattern of favorite cafes, shops, walks, meeting places, which each of us imposes on the city and which makes it uniquely 'our Paris.' A griffe is no trivial thing. As surely as a passport, it identifies one as a bona fide resident, with loves, hates, tastes, and prejudices.