You know who else loved Shakespeare and Company and who wasn’t a writer with skin in the game? Frank Sinatra—according, that is, to Ed Walters, a former pit boss at the Sands, in Las Vegas, who was taken under Sinatra’s wing in the 1960s and offered this account for a forthcoming history the store plans to publish:
What few Sinatra fans know is that he loved books, especially history books. He was in the casino at a 21 table, playing blackjack and talking with his friends. He told the guys, “I’m giving Eddie some books to educate him. He needs it.”
He asked about a book he’d given me, was I reading it. He said, “Eddie you must travel and when you do, go to Paris, go to the Shakespeare bookstore. I know the guy there… . Go see the guy George—he’s a guy that lives with the books.”
—Bruce Handy, writing in Vanity Fair about the legendary Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons