On a cloudy February day in Paris almost 12 years ago, I walked into the cramped store on the Left Bank and was awed. It was a scene of wall to wall books. Floor to ceiling, piled on tables and shelves, stacked on the floor, spilling out onto the sidewalk, where tattered and used titles were in a box marked ’15f’ (about $3). I had never seen anything like it. Or smelled anything like it. It was a pure, unadulterated literary paradise.