top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Good response to call for new ‘bouquiniste’ booksellers next to Seine

71 apply for 18 vacancies, the largest number of applications in the last ten years, says Paris mairie

The mairie of Paris has receive 71 applications from prospective bouquinistes Pic: Nadiia Gerbish / Shutterstock

Paris’ mairie has received 71 applications for the 18 ‘bouquiniste’ vacancies it advertised as part of a regular recruitment drive, the highest number of candidates in the past decade.

Read more: Paris looks for new ‘bouquinistes’ to run book cabins next to Seine

There are currently 241 bouquiniste stalls operating along the Seine between the Tuileries gardens and the Institut du monde arabe. Each bouquiniste can have up to four stalls, from which they can sell second-hand books, paintings and other Parisian souvenirs. 

“This is the highest number of candidates in ten years,” said the mairie’s Olivia Polski, who launched the recruitment campaign, calling for “book specialists to keep the biggest open-air bookshop alive.” 

She added that among the applicants were brocanteurs (bric-a-brac and antiques traders), book lovers and artists.” 

This news comes after years of societal shifts arising from the growth of the internet and mobile phones, causing interest in traditional literary culture to decline and making it difficult for some bouquinistes to attract customers. 

This issue has only been accentuated by the Covid and gilets jaunes crises which have rocked the French capital over the past few years. 

To breathe life back into their trade, the bouquinistes applied for a place on Unesco’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of France in 2019, although they have already constituted a World Heritage Site since 1991.

The successful candidates will be announced on March 11.They will have to buy the boxes from their current owners but will not have to pay a licence fee, the mairie has decided.

This should leave them free to begin work by the summer. 

Related articles

French crafts in focus: The art of cutting gems

How passionate farmers are reviving Menton’s iconic lemon

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Visa and residency cards for France*
Featured Help Guide
- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
Get news, views and information from France