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Nov 30 2008

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PARIS BOUQUINISTES UNDER THREAT

I didn’t know that they had “salvaged books from raids on aristocrats’ libraries during the French Revolution and hid resistance material during the Nazi occupation”. I’m talking about the Paris bouquinistes, at whose stalls I can never resist stopping to browse. When I worked at Université Paris VII (when it was in the old premises at Jussieu) for a semester last year, I had to walk past at least a kilometre of bouquinistes on my way to and from work, and the twenty minute walk became much longer. I acquired some wonderful treasures, though. In the photo, above,  I have just purchased one of the famous Tintin books (Vol 714 pour Sydney), which have a cult following among the French, or at least so it seemed among my fellow profs. You can read the rest of the article from which my opening quote was taken in my (Australian) hometown newspaper, The Age. Apparently the bouquinistes are under threat from “online dealers and a change in Parisians’ reading and shopping habits. Many now sell tourist trinkets to stay afloat, cramming their stalls with souvenirs”. Fortunately the municipal authorities are trying to do something about it.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.escapetoparis.com/2008/11/paris-bouquinistes-under-threat/

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