Photographer's Note

Oporto, or Porto, is Portugal’s second largest city, and approximately 300 km (186 miles) north of Lisbon on the Atlantic Coast. The bookstore window seen in the photo belongs to the Livraria Lello & Irmao that inspired JK Rowling in one of her Harry Potter stories (she had evidently been married to a Portuguese man from Porto). An excellent video revealing the mystery and mystique of the unusual interior can be seen at Lello and Irmao Bookstore (When I visited the bookstore on August 4, 2011, however, photography was no longer allowed inside).

“Nobu” Nobuaki Honda has been sharing with us some of the finest photos of Paris during the past eight months. His photographs, shot with a state of the art Leica M6, analogue camera are all skillfully scanned, and they capture the essence of the City of Love. A common theme is found in his shots of shop windows, and especially windows of bookstores. Well, bookstores are a theme I share with my friend Nobu, one of the most gracious members of Trekearth. Accordingly, I am dedicating this shot to him. As I wrote to him, “Hanging around bookstores, whether strolling through or window shopping, is a theme we share. In a photo like this, I feel compelled to try to read all the titles, even if there is little chance that one of my books is on display (and sadly it was not). But the books include an art book on the great painter Caravaggio (1571 –1610), the unrivaled “l’enfant terrible” of the Renaissance; a book on the American singer, songwriter, musician, James Brown (1993-2006). And most relevant for members of Trekearth is a book on the photographs of the most famous National Geographic photographer, Steve McCurry. Mr. McCurry, whom I once met on a cruise in the Mediterranean, was previously featured in a photo by Izzet Keribar in his Tribute to Steve McCurry.

Finally, with this photo I would like to wish those who are observant Christians, a Merry Christmas. Books, especially mine, do make excellent Christmas presents! I have a dark confession. I have never been able to resist walking out of a bookstore without making a purchase.

Postscript. Right after I posted this photo, Bev Turner spotted Harry Potter in a bookshop in Carlisle, UK. I am grateful to her for sharing her experience.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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