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"At the cultural, commercial and social level, bookstore is a model for the future, but it must be financially supported."



While national encounters are held in Marseilles, bookstores Xavier Moni and Maya Flandin remind the audience of "The World" the key role of bookstores in reviving cities and expanding culture.

Published today at 14h03 Time is for Reading 4 min.

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"More and more bookstores, looking for savings, reduced their teams and inventories, threatening their core business." Photo: Bookshop Tschann, 125, Boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris VIe. Jacques Loic / Fotononstop

tribune France is happy to have one of the world's tallest bookstores, linking the entire territory with smaller cities. Although said to be endangered by the development of online sales and the emergence of digital books, they have shown their strength, to the extent that they are the first sales channel, in front of a large specialized distribution or food and the Internet.

Commitment and passion to the bookstore and the emergence of new enthusiastic and combat generations explain this unprecedented resistance. Libraries are one of our cultural lungs. Thanks to them many authors and publishers find their audiences, neighborhoods, city centers, reviving villages, and readers can walk, discover, be accompanied by women and men who are passionate in their profession.

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The enjoyment of our bookstore lies at those moments when we discover the author, where we defend it to our customers, especially when we are grateful for what we have offered them to the reader's emotions. Alain Damasio, Fred Vargas, Goliarda Sapienza, David Vann, Marie-Helene Lafon, Annie Ernaux and many others, which were launched thanks to the passion of the bookstore.

Paradoxical situation

The success of the bookstore is the pleasure of disclosure and transfer, their attachment to diversity, their perseverance to bet on human relationships, the time they give books and their clients. This success is not denied, but it is fragile. This is a paradox in which the bookstore's interest is maintained. This theme will be at the heart of the 5th National Bookshop Meeting organized by the French Bookstore Trade Union in Marseille on June 30 and June 1st July.

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The bookshop turnover has been stable for decades. Even six months better. Every year hundreds of young people join our profession. Fortunately, the attractiveness of the bookstore is not questionable. However, their financial situation is worrying, especially for less. Profitability, just a few thousand euros for middle-sized bookstores, and salaries, close to SMIC, are low compared to skills and dedication.

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More and more, bookstores, spurred on savings, reduce their teams and inventories, threatening their core business. Behind the stability of the network of bookstores and the enthusiasm of those who animate it hides invisibly evil from the outside but eats from the inside. We need to ensure that bookstores have enough resources to continue to read, disclose works, defend them to readers, greet, advise, organize meetings with authors, debates, workshops with youth, build bridges with associations, schools, libraries … it nourishes the added value of the bookstore and relies on the skills of women and men who have to pay.


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