Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Another lockdown, but this time Parisians demand bookstores stay open

Boston Globe: “In France, the price of a baguette is protected by French law, and so is the price of a book. This says a lot about the place of reading in French life. In 1981, the loi Lang, named for then-president François Mitterand’s flamboyant minister of culture, Jack Lang, mandated that all booksellers, whether chains or independent (the law now also applies to online retailers), charge the same price as their competitors. The maximum discount allowed for books is 5 percent. The law not only protects independent bookshops from larger chain outlets, it ensures cultural diversity, guaranteeing that a wide range of titles can be published, including books that have cultural value but won’t become bestsellers. (Thirteen other European countries also have fixed prices for books.)…A poll conducted during the second lockdown found that 52 percent of the population considered bookshops essential businesses. Many shops created a “click and collect” workaround to sell books in spite of the closures — the way restaurants sold takeout. And when that lockdown was lifted in December, bibliophiles showed their love for their booksellers, buying 35 percent more books than they did during the same time the previous year…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.