From the NYTimes:
PARIS — George Whitman, the American-born owner of Shakespeare & Company, a fabled English-language bookstore on the Left Bank in Paris and a magnet for writers, poets and tourists for close to 60 years, died on Wednesday in his apartment above the store. He was 98. Read more here.
I had the good fortune, in the summer of 1979, to sub-let a Paris apartment with a college friend. When we weren't idling away long afternoons-into-evenings lingering over a single glass of Côtes du Rhône (very limited budget!) we could often be found at Shakespeare & Co., amid the musty books shelved, stacked and piled floor to rafters. It was a maze and all quite amazing, and we felt like a part of some secret society, like characters from a page of French history. Once George Whitman, who I remember as somewhat cantankerous, gave me a vintage Parisian address book, circa 1900, with marbled end-papers and written in elaborate fountain-pen script. (I still have it -- when I dig it up I'll post a photo.)
What I've seen of this film is marvelous (I admit I've jumped around in it) -- but I'd venture to say that it's worth all 52 minutes if you are even remotely interested in Paris, literature, or quirky characters.