Tuesday, 27 May 2008

French book prices

As someone who is interested both in the book trade, as an author, and economics, as a journalist, I find it extraordinary that the French as still debating whether to change their version of the net boook agreement - and, according to a report in The Bookseller, look like keeping it.
Nothing could better illustrate why France remains in the dark ages. After price controls were abolished in the UK, we got Waterstone's, Border's etc - big friendly bookshops that made buying book a pleasant experience. I also think Tesco, Asda are doing a lot for the books business - after all at £3.50 a book is a small, tempting luxury when you are out shopping. By contrast, has anyone ever seen a decent bookshop in France? Or read a French author recently? The British bookselling industry might be frustrating but it miles ahead of the French.

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