Today marks exactly one month since Markets of Paris, 2nd ed. was published. For months prior, Dixon and I nurtured it as an idea. We swapped drafts back and forth, had discussions with our publisher, and enjoyed interactions with people at various markets in Paris. But beyond that, it existed only in our heads and on our hard-drives. Now the book has a life of its own. A physical existence different from the dizzying number of documents on our computers. Those maddening days of version-tracking are thankfully behind us. The book is compact, with stable contents, and a visual pizazz that brings to life the markets in Paris. I haven’t gotten accustomed to the surprise of seeing Markets of Paris in other peoples’ hands and pockets. The fact that this is June and commencement season feels appropriate. Our book is venturing off on its own, tucked into suitcases and knapsacks and who knows what exactly, all over the world. I invite you to send me a photo or a few lines: Where is the book popping up?
The initial responses have been very enthusiastic. Markets of Paris, 2nd ed. has been written up by AFAR, Bonjour Paris, Huffington Post, Paris Kitchen, Paris Breakfast, Polly-Vous Français, The Daily Meal, Bottom Line, Betty Rosbottom, and numerous others. Radio personalities Rudy Maxa (a.k.a. “The Savvy Traveler”) and Jordan Rich have gotten behind the book with national broadcasts, as well as astute in-depth coverage by local radio hosts such as Katherine Perry and Jennifer Hall-Lewis. Markets of Paris, 2nd ed., made its debut on the Boston Globe’s Local Bestsellers list this week. The fact that it appears between The Happiness Project and Apron Anxiety seems entirely appropriate as an inside joke (maybe only to myself, but I enjoyed it).
Particularly gratifying have been the local events and signings where people are turning out in sizable numbers to hear about the markets in Paris. They come to get their books signed as well as to learn which are the best markets in Paris and practical tips for how to shop there. They frequently share their own stories about experiences they’ve had at Paris markets. At an event at Boston College last week, one woman told me she found the engagement ring of her dreams in a market in Paris. Luckily, her boyfriend proposed to her that evening and when they returned to the market the next day it was still there. Another woman described her last travel experience with her mother–a cooking class in Paris which began with a shopping expedition at an outdoor market in Paris and ended with a meal in someone’s private kitchen. A boy of eleven talked about walking down the market street Rue Mouffetard with his grandmother. A man recounted his delight at discovering a market at Place Monge while looking for the Jardin des Plantes. Their stories evoke plenty of memories and emotions. I’m enjoying learning how others have been affected by the markets in Paris and elsewhere.
It has been a fantastic first month. Like a new graduate, the book is out there on its own now. I’m proud but also, maybe ridiculously, feeling protective and curious. If only it could send me postcards or an occasional phonecall to check in and report on its adventures. Instead, I hope I’ll hear from YOU with your experiences as you explore the markets in Paris. And please send me a photo of the book, anyplace in the wild.