Closing bookstores during this period of detention could doom them if nothing is done to save them. In any case, this is the message that has been relayed across France since the head of state’s address on October 28th. How can one help booksellers in this tormented time and what measures must be taken on a large scale? We take stock of the issue.

State action

The head of state has announced that all businesses that do not sell essential foods will close their doors. The bookstores were therefore forced to follow suit, which led to very strong reactions in the book community. To illustrate their struggle, designer Riad Sattouf made a drawing to support the idea that bookstores could stay open while in custody. This drawing has since been shared by more than 2,000 people on Twitter:

@emmanuelmacron @jcastexpm @roselyne_bachelot @brunolemaire @jean_michel_blanquer @SLF_Librairie @SNEedition
#bookstore #autrice #author #reading #readress #reader #book

October 29, 2020;

There are many screams from the hearts of the little booksellers who have touched us in the past few days. To support them, Roselyne Bachelot and Anne Hidalgo took turns speaking and sending a warning message regarding the order on Amazon.

The call from Anne Hidalgo and Roselyne Bachelot

On Monday November 2nd, the Mayoress of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, spoke to support booksellers. She told the press:

Don’t buy from Amazon. I really tell the Parisians: Amazon is the death of our bookstores and our neighborhood life. (…) Parisians really consider their bookstore to be a local, indispensable business. I am here to support this idea and of course I urge the bookstores to reopen as soon as possible.

Culture minister Roselyne Bachelot also spoke for LCI on the subject and went in the same direction as the mayor of Paris:

Don’t buy books on digital platforms. Book sales in bookstores and independent bookstores continue. By ordering them and looking for them, the famous “Clik and Collect” or by calling their bookseller. Not by buying it on the internet. There is no benefit in buying them on a digital platform! (…) Yes, Amazon stuffs itself, it’s up to us not to stuff it.

For digital platforms like Amazon, war is therefore declared during this time of imprisonment.