Paris’ traditional booksellers struggle as pandemic cuts trade
Paris, Jan 29 (efe-epa).- The scenery along the banks of the Seine in Paris has drastically changed due to the coronavirus pandemic as many of the capital’s traditional second-hand booksellers have had their stands closed for months.
The second wave of Covid-19 and the lockdown enforced to control it has forced the so-called bouquinistes to shut their businesses due to a lack of clients, many of which were tourists.
“I continue to open every day because I have two daughters depending on me and I cannot retire yet,” bouquiniste Mathias tells Efe.
A veteran of the trade, Mathias has been selling antique books and cards near the iconic Pont Neuf for 40 years. His is one of the only stands out of the 220 along the Seine that remains open.
“In summer, between 300 and 400 people a day pass by the stalls,” Jérôme Callais, head of the association that groups together the bouquinistes of Paris, tells Efe. “Now we barely get 15.”
Many will not reopen their stands and doubt they could withstand a third lockdown, something the French government is mulling in the face of the pandemic.EFE/EPA