During one of your romantic walk from the Hotel du Jeu de Paume and around the Ile Saint Louis, you might get a glimpse of the booksellers on the docks on the Seine River. You might think – as almost every Parisian – they have always been there, here is their story.
The first bouquinistes – booksellers – emerged on the quai Voltaire, in the early nineteenth century, 1821.
Previously we know that there were merchants of small objects set up on the docks. They were selling, among other things, figurines. In the Seine’s bed, were discovered toy soldiers known as Plombs de Seine.
With the construction of the Pont-Neuf, the bouquinistes have multiplied.
In 1892, 156 booksellers, who will become 200 in 1900, now have the right to leave their boxes at night, on the parapet.
During the famous floods in1910, the bouquinistes were the first victims.
New measures were adopted in 1930. The size of the boxes is regulated, exclusive book sale is required, the booksellers can not own a shop. Only one nomination per household, but the bouquiniste may be assisted.
Two booksellers loved each other. They lived few years “in sin” because the regulation only allow a single set of boxes per household, the marriage made them loose half of their income.
A romantic hotel, Jeu de Paume Hotel, near the booksellers.