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Books, Glorious Books...The 2013 Salon International Du Livre Paris (And A Late Lunch In Monmartre)

Posted by Caroline Hawksworth on

The fair opened to the public in fine weather after the Thursday night preview. A long, snaking queue of expectant people waited quickly disappeared inside in search of rarities and treasures.

Every effort had been made to make the fair as inclusive as possible and a celebration of French literary culture. The fair included a  large display, with historic photographs and maps, devoted the Parisian Bouquinistes, the booksellers operating from stalls lining the banks of the Seine, dating from the 16th century. It was formalized in the mid-19th century with bouqinistes establishing permanent pitches and the sizes of stalls being regulated in the 1930s. The Bouqinistes became part of a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991.
Further displays showcased regional bookfairs across France, bibliophile magazines and binderies & restoration.

The fair was divided in the shape of a cross with the lower spoke without displays and forming the entrance passage. On the right were a selection of stands offering prints and drawings and in front and to the left were book stands.

A few hours spent amongst the stacks with dealers, customers, and colleagues passing quietly by, turned up a few choice items and led to short presentation at the stage area on the new online display of bindings held by the Bibliotheque Nationale.

 All that remained was to find somewhere for a quick late lunch, so onwwards to Abbesses by Metro and the space and sky of Monmartre. The delightful Le Relais Gascon, close to the edge of Monmartre cemetery, served a fine salade fraicheur with sliced potatoes fried in garlic, smoked ham, lardons and fried eggs before the homeward journey.

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