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Cahors: A bookstore offering old books, a bookbinding workshop, and soon a low-priced area

Cahors: A bookstore offering old books, a bookbinding workshop, and soon a low-priced area

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It has been two months since Beatrice Jacques and Etienne Cronier took over Old library Written by Valerie Rabaud Town centre to CahorsTo establish “La Petite Faiseuse de Livres”. During these few tense weeks, the couple from the Paris region has not been idle and continues to develop their projects. There are many, but always in Book Two. Beatrice Jacques and Etienne Cronier have just started working in the bookstore located at 17 rue Clément Marot.

If the old book group is still very present, just as the regional book group enjoys a certain success, they decide to develop their offer. So, they are preparing a set of scientific and technical books. They also want to enrich the fund picture books, Whether novels with exquisite engravings, or beautiful books with more specific illustrations…in a designated space at the back of the book libraryAnd they will also prepare everything children’s book space, Manga, sci-fi, comics, comics….

Recently arrived in Cahors

Before arriving in Cahors, Béatrice Jacques and Étienne Cronier lived in the Paris area. She had actually been a bookseller for about ten years at a major national cultural brand, and he worked there too, but in the computer and home appliance department. Etienne Cronier fell in love with Cahors thanks to friends who lived there. During the health crisis, between Parisian life and a different philosophy of “distributing books widely,” they chose to leave everything behind to settle in. “There was everything you needed and wanted and be able to leave,” they explain. The opportunity to take over the old library came almost by chance, and it was an opportunity they embraced with enthusiasm. “And after two months, we have not regretted anything!” they affirm in unison. However, they are progressing slowly with their project, so as not to skip a single step. “Our ideas are flowing,” they insist, “but we want to do things little by little and, above all, to do them well.” good”.

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Bookbinding workshop in Cahors

In her second premises located a hundred meters away, at 46 Rue Pellegré, in the former Galerie du Carré d’Art, Béatrice Jacques has set up her own binding workshop, which has been operating since the beginning of December. Passionate about books and drawn to craft activities, she chose to combine the two by taking her CAP in bookbinding to give books new life.

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Etienne Cronier and Béatrice Jacques in the binding workshop, Rue Pellegré in Cahors. ©Ministry of Trade and Investment

With her degree, she chose to continue her training with a 3-year course in book restoration in Tours (37) while also training in poster restoration. These two training courses take place over a few days a month, allowing her to start her bookbinding business at the same time in Cahors.

Beatrice Jacques wants to be a craftsman, not an artist. There is no doubt that it does artistic binding, but rather traditional binding with modern techniques. Thus, it will remain in the style of the work to be restored, with the desire to preserve it and above all not to distort the book or its history.

They may come with books that are slightly worn or very damaged. She can step in whether it’s to make small renovations or redo everything. If touching the binding causes the work to lose its value, she can create custom storage boxes. It also offers to create notebooks, white papers, etc.

She also restores old books using all kinds of techniques such as paper inlay. Her workshop is well equipped with vise, notary press, percussion press, paper cutters, &c. For the materials she makes (papers, hides and hides for binding, marble, etc.), she chooses to source from local artisans. It tries as much as possible to source noble materials through artisanal papers and handcrafted marble… but it adapts to all budgets in order to allow all audiences to fix their books. Therefore, bonding or restoration can take from a few hours to several days of work, all depending on the initial state of preservation.

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Béatrice Jacques and Etienne Cronier plan to offer bookbinding workshops and training courses for the summer of 2025, while all other projects have been completed and solidified.

Breaking the book myth

The name of the library La Petite Faiseuse de Livres is taken from a particularly appreciated manga by Béatrice Jaques and Étienne Cronier. The heroine seeks to regain writing and reading. The two vendors wanted to bring this spirit to their library, to make it a place accessible to everyone. “We have to break the myth of the book, the book is just a story on paper! For writers, there is no need for social class, no social rank, in the bookstore, everyone is in his place!” explains Etienne Cronier.

Low cost book space

By the spring of 2024, Béatrice Jacques and Étienne Cronier will develop the ground floor space of the binding workshop on Rue Pellegré, in order to make it a place to sell books at lower prices. In their image, this space will be warm and friendly inviting you to come in, browse and browse the shelves to find something that satisfies your curiosity. Paperbacks will have pride of place, but you will also find all kinds of works: documentaries, children’s books, textbooks… “The idea is to go in, look, take the books and leave a coin in a basket in return, in complete autonomy, without restrictions… We want the place to be very open!” defines Etienne Cronier.

So this space will be designed to please yourself with small books, at prices of 1, 2, 3 euros… All books of a slightly larger value, starting from 10 euros, will be in the bookstore on rue Clément Marot.

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In the meantime, they are working in a network with antiquarian booksellers across France to allow everyone to find the reference they are looking for if it is no longer published.

La Petite Faiseuse de Livres acquired the entire collection of the old library, some 10,000 references, which the two booksellers added each week as they liquidated the library. And now there are more 15,000 books on displaya fund that continues to grow and always develop.

Every day new people come to show them new books, and they can also come and appreciate the contents of the special library (by appointment).

Everyone will inevitably be able to find what they are looking for, especially what they did not come looking for…

Open Tuesday from 2pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6:30pm, hours are expected to change starting in January and summer hours will be in effect on summer days. communication : [email protected]/05 81 22 16 13.

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