Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Paris: city of booksellers?

Those Left Bank book stalls in Paris [Bouquinistes] filled with First Editions and rare collections of poetry and are in trouble: books aren't selling so well, and plastic Eiffel towers are doing better. What happens next?

...Paris city hall, alarmed that the garish knick-knacks are damaging Paris's "cultural landscape", has launched a battle to protect the literary soul of the banks of the Seine. Bouquinistes have been invited to crisis talks at the city hall in an attempt to promote more intellectual merchandise. But some warn that if they cannot adapt to the changing market they will "die of hunger".

Imagine this in a market near you:

The trade is strictly regulated. Each bouquiniste is allowed four boxes painted dark green: three must contain books, the fourth can sell items such as prints, collectors' postcards, stamps and souvenirs.

From Le Guardian.

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