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Iconic Paris Bookshop on the Brink of Closure Due to the Lockdown

Paris News
by Eben Diskin Nov 10, 2020

An iconic Paris bookstore has been hit hard by the pandemic and is now appealing to customers to remain afloat. Shakespeare and Company, which published James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1922, sent an email to customers last week to inform them of their difficult financial situation and encourage them to buy books. Since Paris’s new lockdown took effect on October 30, which shuttered all nonessential businesses, the bookstore has been struggling to make ends meet.

Sylvia Whitman, daughter of the shop’s late proprietor, said to the Associated Press, “We’ve been (down) 80% since the first confinement in March, so at this point we’ve used all our savings.”

Since sending the email, Whitman has received an encouraging response, with 5,000 online orders in just one week (50 times more than usual). Many have also contacted the shop about donating, without even making a purchase.

Shakespeare and Company is often called the world’s most famous independent bookshop. Founded in 1919, it’s been a haunt for writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway.

To learn more about the bookstore, order a book, or donate, visit the official website.

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