I'll never forgive myself for not taking pictures either time I stayed at Shakespeare & Company, and I was adamant about not making the same mistake at Atlantis Books.
The shop is everything I expected; cozy, magical, and stuffed to the brim...it's a bibliophile's play land.
Like Shakespeare & Co., beds are hidden around the shop, doubling as reading benches, or tucked behind curtains, and like the other houses on the island, it's built like a cave with round sloping ceilings and has a secret passageway that leads out onto the terrace overlooking the caldera and out onto the Mediterranean Ocean.
We were welcomed by another couple from London, Deborah and Morgan who had been minding the shop the week before we arrived. They showed us the ropes of running the bookstore in winter. Because we're here "off season", we'll be lucky to see any visitors. But we have other tasks: making bundles, checking the post office, feeding the cats, and maintaining the air of charm should an unexpected visitor stop by. Deborah and Morgan spent three days with us; just long enough to get us hooked on chess, co-cook great meals, and introduce us to the neighbors.
I couldn't be happier here.
Traveling from place to place, even at the relaxed pace we were going, had been really exhausting. In Madrid, we'd met backpackers who'd visited 18 cities in one month. This sort of tourism just doesn't appeal to me. Settling down in a place, getting to know the neighbors, shop keepers, and village dogs is much more my style. And I think, watching after Atlantis books for several weeks will be the perfect opportunity to do just that.