The river that runs between two bookshelves

One of the most famous attractions in the French capital is not a museum, cathedral or palace. It is a sort of market…..for old and antiquarian books. Along the long sections of the banks of the Seine from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre on the right bank, and from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire on the left bank is the “kingdom” of the Bouquinistes. These merchants are booksellers of used and antiquarian books whose trade originate from 16th century. The traditional emblem of the Bouquinistes is “a lizard looking at a sword”.

The Bouquinistes of Paris along the banks of Seine

The Bouquinistes of Paris along the banks of Seine


Now days, about 240 Bouquinistes are using 900 “green boxes” along the banks of river Seine to store more than 300,000 old books, journals, stamps and trading cards. You can literally dive in the antique ocean of books and journals for days and days.
While the Bouquinistes of Paris have inspired booksellers in other cities around the world, the market along the french capital’ river is unique and Seine is the only river in the world for which you can say in runs between two bookshelves.
"Old Books" 2013 Original Still Life Art by Veny

“Old Books” 2013 Original Still Life Art by Veny

I spent entire day searching amongst the thousands of treasures displayed here. I found great inspiration wondering between the old books stands and bringing few books back home along with some interesting reproductions.
It took me while, but 8 years after my last trip to Paris, I sat down and turned my vision for “Old books” into a painting. The idea is to use the frame as a shelf where books stay.All contents © copyright 2010-2013 ARTbyVENY.com

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4 thoughts on “The river that runs between two bookshelves

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