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France lockdown: Bookstores seek waiver from closure, say ‘reading is essential’

“Leave our bookstores open so that social confinement does not also become cultural isolation,” they wrote in a joint statement

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | October 30, 2020 1:08:01 pm
Shakespeare and Company, one of Paris' iconic bookstores had appealed for help prior to this.(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

With the announcement of a second lockdown in France, authors and bookstores have requested the government to allow bookstores to be open. They have reasoned, as per a report in The Guardian states, that reading is “essential”.

“Leave our bookstores open so that social confinement does not also become cultural isolation. Our readers, who love independent bookstores, would not understand it and would experience it as an injustice … books satisfy our need for understanding, reflection, escape, distraction, but also sharing and communication,” reads the joint statement quoted in the report. It comes from publishers’ association, “the Syndicat national de l’édition (SNE), joined with its booksellers’ association, the Syndicat de la Librairie Française (SLF), and authors’ group, the Conseil Permanent des Ecrivains (CPE)”

A couple of days ago, one of Paris’ most iconic bookshops Shakespeare and Company had asked for help from their patrons as their sales dropped to 80 per cent since March. “Like many independent businesses, we are struggling, trying to see a way forward during this time when we’ve been operating at a loss,” said the shop in an email to customers, adding that it would be “especially grateful for new website orders from those of you with the means and interest to do so”, read an email they sent out to people.

However, help soon poured in on social media and otherwise.

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