With passing trade hit hard by the pandemic, the booksellers on the banks of the Seine are struggling

Usually, Sundays are good days for the bouquinistes. Legions of strollers – tourists, out-of-towners, Parisians – throng the banks of the Seine, and the open-air booksellers whose green boxes have lined the quays for 400-odd years do good business.

One recent Sunday, though, Jérôme Callais made €32. And there was a day that week when he made €4: a single paperback, he can’t even recall which. It has not, Callais said, sheltering from driving rain on an all but deserted Quai de Conti, been easy.

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