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Locked-down French bookshops reopen in time for Goncourt Prize boost

Customers in Paris were keen to shop for books again after a second Covid-19 lockdown forced bookshops to close through November.
Customers in Paris were keen to shop for books again after a second Covid-19 lockdown forced bookshops to close through November. © France 24

Bookshops in France were shuttered a month ago as the country withdrew into its second nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Deemed non-essential then – to the dismay of many – bookshops and other small stores have now reopened for business. Desperate for a boost after a trying month and a difficult year, French booksellers are raising their iron curtains at just the right time, with the Christmas shopping season afoot and the Prix Goncourt awarded on Monday. France's most prestigious literary prize is a surefire boon for sales.

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At La Belle Lurette bookshop in the Marais, in central Paris, bookworms could hardly contain their glee at being able to peruse the shelves again. "I'm very happy," one cheerful customer said. "I wasn't bothered about the clothes shops reopening, but anything book-related: Yes!"

FRANCE 24's Marie Schuster and Clovis Casali report from two bookshops in Paris.

To watch the report in full click on the video player above.

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