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Tiny library is a big success

This crowded room is perfect for Jean-Jacques Megel-Nuber who had been searching for a new adventure after a life working in the theatre and events – so he set up a tiny mobile library and bookshop and takes it round festivals.

The library is a wooden Tiny House and Jean-Jacques, 45, who lives near Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, had it especially built for him.

“I had lots of ideas of how to do something new, even trying archaeology among other things, but I wanted to meet people and to travel.

“A bookshop seemed ideal as I could use it for readings and introduce new ideas.

“Searching for premises I looked at a barge and even renovating an old library but when I read on the internet about Tiny Houses that was it. Just perfect: compact, mobile, and made of wood, so ecological.”

 The Tiny House was built by Romain Saunier and Pauline Fagué of La Maison Qui Chemine, in Vosges (they are now at Saint-Méard de Gurçon in Dordogne).

“I was able to work directly with them as it was their first project,” said Jean-Jacques.

“I’m delighted with it. I took it to Pontarlier in Haut-Doubs for the street festival and, although it was quiet at first once people discovered what I was doing through word of mouth it was wonderful.

“I am keen on working with children and for one reading we had 12 children in the Vrai Chic Littérère as the library is called. It has room for almost as many adults, too!”

The Tiny House is 6m30 long and took six months to build. Jean-Jacques said every penny counted and it cost just under €40,000. He funded it himself with crowd-funding support. Now he is preparing for summer in eastern France, aiming to visit villages where there are no shops and no bookshop. He sleeps in the Tiny House while travelling and sells books at a ‘reasonable’  price. The readings are free.

La Maison Qui Chemine has been in business for a year. All  are made to measure and made to a budget with local wood that comes from a coop 9km away in Gironde

Depending on specification, a Tiny House costs €50-€60,000 with France-wide delivery.

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