Bouquinistes de Paris

Tuesday, 1 August 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Paris / Île-de-France, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  3 minutes

© flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Ninara/cc-by-2.0

The Bouquinistes of Paris, France, are booksellers of used and antiquarian books who ply their trade along large sections of the banks of the Seine: on the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre/Quai François Mitterrand, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire. The Seine is thus described as ‘the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves’.

The tradition of the second-hand booksellers began around the 16th century with little market peddlers. Under pressure from booksellers, a settlement of 1649 prohibited stalls and the display of books on the Pont Neuf. The authorities at the time were rather anxious to limit parallel markets not subjected to official censorship. Travelling booksellers during the period were driven out and then reinstated under approval.

The traditional emblem of the second-hand booksellers is “a lizard looking at a sword”. The term “bouquiniste” appears in the dictionary of the Académie Française in 1762.

Bouquinistes de Paris map © Bonč © Alexey Komarov/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - besopha/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Ninara/cc-by-2.0 © Jebulon/cc-by-sa-3.0 © Elekes Andor/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Mbzt/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Benh LIEU SONG/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - xiquinhosilva/cc-by-2.0
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© flickr.com - xiquinhosilva/cc-by-2.0
In 1859, concessions were implemented by the city of Paris and the bouquinistes are permitted to be established at fixed points. Each one is entitled to 10 metres of railing for an annual fee of 26,35 F and a 25 F licence. The openings are from sunrise to sunset. Finally, in 1930 the dimensions of the “boxes” were fixed.

Installed along more than three kilometres of the Seine and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, the 240 bouquinistes make use of 900 “green boxes” to house some 300,000 old books and a very great number of journals, stamps and trading cards.

The second-hand booksellers of Paris have inspired booksellers in other cities such as Ottawa, Beijing and Tokyo.

Read more on parisjetaime.com – Les bouquinistes de Paris and Wikipedia Bouquinistes de Paris (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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