Strolling along the Seine is an enjoyable experience merely for the sheer fact that you’re in Paris but there’s little doubt its collection of booksellers along the river bank also add to its bohemian charm. Now a campaign has begun to preserve this unique slice of Parisian life.
The booksellers have begun a campaign to become a Unesco World Heritage piece of ‘intangible cultural heritage’, a status awarded to unique elements of traditional culture that are not necessarily restricted to monuments or geographic places.
The 250 booksellers – or bouquinistes – line large sections of the river banks, boasting a collection of mainly used and antiquarian books and the Seine was once described as “the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves”. Sellers pay €100 a year in rent but are obliged to open at least four days a week. They operate under strict guidelines that each are allowed four boxes of merchandise; three must be filled with books and one can be other assorted items.