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The booksellers of quays- the Parisian emblem

The booksellers of quays- the Parisian emblem

Bouquinistes

The booksellers of Paris are part of the Parisian landscape and offer various old and second hand books. They are gathered on both banks of Paris. These are some 200 booksellers settled on the banks of the Seine in the open.

History and origins of Parisian booksellers

The word “bouquiniste” refers to the one who sells or buys old books, books since 1762 and comes from the Flemish language.

In 1891, the first booksellers appeared on the Voltaire quay and the bookstore profession dates back to the 16th century. There are many pre-war newspapers and novels of old that are placed on stalls along the banks of the Seine and are part of the French cultural heritage. Passers-by and tourists stroll and discover these books while strolling.

The bookstore profession

It is a profession of passion, of advice. The bookstore trade appears after the invention of printing. They are called at the time the “hawkers” because they offer their books for sale on the Pont Neuf.

It is in 1649 that the authorities put under pressure by the booksellers hunt these peddlers and in 1800 under Napoléon that the booksellers reach a status. Then in the late eighteenth century that the term enters the dictionary of the French Academy.

Parisian booksellers soon to UNESCO heritage?

UNESCO’s mission is to bring peace to culture, science and education and to develop partnerships at the global, regional and national levels for sustainable development.

There are therefore 195 Member States working together for this purpose.

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