Monday, October 27, 2008

Excuse My French

Location: Quebec City

Mood: Tres French

Last night's highlight: Drinking ale in a brick and mortar pub that was used for artillery storage in the 1700s.

This morning, the third day of a short visit to Quebec City, I wandered the streets around our hotel with a steaming vanilla latte in hand and my camera slung over my shoulder – feeling very French, very hip, very I Belong. I’m no longer the sole pedestrian staring expectantly at the lights, waiting in vain for the walking-dude to illuminate while others brush past me and forge into the streets, despite red lights and flashing hands, with no regard for their own safety.

Nope, I’m not that “newbie” tourist anymore. Like the Christmas lights on my parent’s house that stay up all year long - I now know streetlights are meaningless here. This is the way you cross a busy street in Quebec City…if the way looks clear, or you think you can outrun the oncoming vehicles and cross before being struck down like a dog – you’re good to go.

Anyway, a few close calls and a detour due to a film crew working on a Quebec movie (who may have been cursing me for wrecking their shot as I stopped to photograph them - can't you see the frustration on their faces?) – I’d found a neat bookstore to explore.

Librarie Pantoute has a rather large young adult fiction section, and while they didn’t have any English titles, they had a slew of French translations for some very familiar books. How cool to see the French covers with their slight variations in artwork and word choice for titles. The store staff were more than agreeable to me taking a few photos as long as I mentioned their website (I had told them, in my bastardized blend of French and English that I was an author and the photos were for my blog) – so here it is:

An anthology (which a staff member at Pantoute informed me is titled “Prom Dates from Hell” in English), caught my eye. Twilight’s Stephanie Meyer, Meg Cabot – some big authors contribute to this dark collection of short stories. I spent a good half hour trying to read it, but my French just ain’t good enough. Also, the book (paperback format) cost $26.00.

Holy shit! Excuse my French, but I’ll wait and order the English version when I get back home. I’m thrilled these books are translated into different languages, but I pity the kids who have to pay those kinds of prices.

That they do says a lot about their love of reading.

1 comment:

Tami Klockau said...

Great post Tracy. Sounds like you had a great time. When I was in Montreal a few years back, we took a side trip to Quebec City. I instantly fell in love with both!

It's so fun to see the titles and cover art changes to the YA books. Thanks to the bookstore for allowing you to post the photos!