You've certainly seen them, walking along the Seine in Paris. The line of small shops clinging to the stone parapet of the river only stops when there is a bridge and then a passage. Then it starts again, as if nothing happened, until the next bridge. On the right bank you find the bouquinistes from Pont Marie to the Louvre. On the left bank, from Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire. In total there are about 900 of them! But who are they, what are they selling, how long have they existed?

quai seine 4 esternaThey are small individual businesses, specialized in the sale of books, the bouquins, from which they are named. But in addition to books, they sell old prints, old film posters, opera librettos, picture postcards. Small souvenirs of Paris, such as miniatures from the Eiffel Tower or Nôtre Dame, are on display alongside faded black and white photos of famous French cinema glories, from Jean Gabin to Michelle Morgan, from Jacques Tati to Fernandel, not to mention Edith Piaf and Josephine Baker.

After all, those small, dilapidated shops are full of memories and therefore of history. That's why they have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011. The owners do not pay taxes or rents, but are required to strictly respect the strict regulations of their trade. You may wonder how they stay there, one attached to the other, without interruption?

After all, they sell the same goods... don't they compete with each other? I don't think so, Sans titrebecause each of us, potential customers, has a memory, an unfulfilled dream, a happy episode in our lives that, we don't know how, ended up there, in that little shop and not in the one next door. And they, the bouquinistes, know it. "This client is yours, the next one will be mine!", a dreamer's philosophy, a seller of memories, perhaps of hopes that only Paris can evoke.

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Catherine - Lifestyle

Bonjour, my name is Catherine. I live in the heart of Paris. I’ve always loved to travel and, over the years, I developed it into a real art: the right addresses, the suitcase, how to manage fatigue with my Parisian look! From Cannes to Antigua, from the red carpet to Pilates, I have to live up to the reputation. I have small apartments in Paris that I rent out. I love to personally welcome my guests and give them some recommendations about life in Paris “living like a true Parisian and not like a simple tourist in an elegant private suit in the heart of the city”.

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Edizione Italiana

Edita da RIZZOLI, Sophie la Parigina è una guida di stile moderna su PARIGI. Illustrata dai disegni di Alessandra Ceriani, completata da un elenco degli indirizzi preferiti dalla parigina e arricchita di ricette gastronomiche.


English Edition

Published by RIZZOLI New York, Sophie the Parisian'sis a modern life style guide about PARIS. Illustrated with color drawings, complemented by a list of Parisians' favorite locations and enriched with gastronomic recipes.

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