In our home, we’ve managed to make reading books before bed a treat. My boys love this special time that we share, as we do as their parents. Our imaginations as much as theirs are filled to the brim, accompanied with magnificent illustrations. Katrina Greer, owner of The French Library is just as aware of this phenomenon and has professed that, “As a young girl I basked in the wonders of books and dreamt of becoming a librarian. Years later, the dream manifested in the form of The French Library.”
The French Library, in its beckoning shade of deep blue, sits nestled on a block of Magazine Street that certainly must feel proud to have it. The sophisticated book shop and café is geared towards children, but much like the pages of those carefully illustrated stories adults also lose themselves in wonder once inside. Every nook and cranny is curated so that reading, nibbling, sipping and relaxing the mind become the center of focus.
This is seemingly perfectly engineered to evoke the French joie de vivre, and it doesn’t disappoint. Even the staunchest Francophiles can find solace in the library, which hosts many gatherings such as birthday parties, tea parties, art classes and story times. These classes, which also include yoga and mindfulness meditation, are all taught in French. The French Consulate has held meetings there, and the library continues to add special events such as etiquette classes to the roster.
As the number of French immersion schools grow in New Orleans, many homes are finding that they have children becoming fluent while they, the parents, are not. This makes the already daunting task of aiding with homework next to impossible. The French Library provides after school help to children with their French-oriented homework, and in fact recently had a client who brought his child in to complete their winter break home studies while the father sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee and a macaroon from the café. The staff is equipped to handle this kind of thing and encourages it. “We welcome children and adults who want to snuggle up with a book on our couch-swing or enjoy a cup of French Truck coffee in our café,” says Greer. “Our aim is to provide a magical space where people can expand their worlds and cultivate their original gifts. While doing so, still preserving Louisiana’s French roots and tradition.”
The French Library continues to curate their plethora of French books, and in addition are growing English books and periodicals of French influence. The French Library has beautiful options that only enhance the joy of bedtime reading and make the experience with our children that much more special. With its enticing treats and riveting ambience, The French Library certainly summons indoors with its profound curb appeal, and as soon as you pass through there’s a certain, what do they say … Je ne sais quoi.
Just the Facts:
Events at The French Library range from birthday parties to baby showers, and start at $375. All classes, such as étude and ukulele are $5 unless otherwise stated. All of this information is in their calendar and can be found online at TheFrenchLibrary.com.
Hours of operation: Sundays 12-5 p.m.; Mondays-Saturdays 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.