THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Holiday reads: Beachgoers check out French seaside libraries

FRANCE: Going to the beach can be tough work, but if you need a break from all the gruelling swimming and sunbathing this summer, a trip to one of France’s pop-up seaside libraries could be just the thing.

culturetourismproperty
By AFP

Saturday 11 August 2018, 02:00PM


People enter in a little library, open during the summer, in Etretat, northwestern France. People can borrow books to read them on the beach. Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

People enter in a little library, open during the summer, in Etretat, northwestern France. People can borrow books to read them on the beach. Photo: Charly Triballeau / AFP

Lulled by the gentle cries of seagulls in the distance, flocks of readers have been heading to the book-filled beach huts that authorities have opened along the coast of Normandy in northern France and elsewhere.

“It’s a perfect break for reading and relaxing between two dips in the sea,” said 52-year-old hairdresser Isabelle from her deckchair at the library in Etretat, a Normandy resort famed for its dramatic white cliffs.

“Since I’m not going away on holiday, this is my treat every afternoon,” she said, before diving back into a detective novel.

Etretat is one of 12 local resorts where authorities have set up library beach-huts this summer. Open from July 7 until August 26, each of the wooden huts has been filled with 1,000 books.

Normandy launched its ‘Read At The Beach’ scheme in 2005 with three huts and by last year was welcoming more than 38,000 bookworms along this stretch of the coast.

The idea has since taken off elsewhere in France, with the Herault region in the south attracting 21,000 readers to its own beach huts last year.

Similar schemes have also been launched in other countries including Australia, Bulgaria, Israel and Spain.

In Normandy, anyone is welcome to dip into a book, with no registration needed – but readers must stay in the deckchairs provided, rather than taking them down to the sea to get sand between the pages.

This year 400 chairs are up for grabs around the region at the beach huts, which are open every day between 2pm and 7pm, with some books in English, German and Italian provided for foreign readers.

On a recent sunny afternoon in Etretat, a dozen readers – aged between nine months and 70 – come to transport themselves to other worlds from the hut, overlooking the sea.

“We need more of this kind of place,” said Romain Mace, an engineer on vacation from the city of Rouen, enjoying a volume of poetry as his baby slept beside him – a rare pleasure for sleep-deprived young parents.

Since the books cannot be taken off-site, the hut’s two librarians will happily put aside a novel you’ve started so that you can pick up the story where you left off the next day.

Corinne Ait Amar, 47, had returned to delve back into the thrilling exploits of gentleman-thief Arsene Lupin while her daughter was engrossed in a Japanese manga comic.

“It’s perfect,” said the nurse, on vacation with her family from the eastern city of St Etienne.

“My daughter and I have been saying to ourselves that we might meet up with the rest of the family a little later than planned...”

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Police parade in show of New Year readiness

Highway Police? I fall of my chair! Since when has Phuket highway police? Anyone? And the general fo...(Read More)


Phuket Police parade in show of New Year readiness

OK, I'll ask the question... how does a parade show readiness? And if it does, just what are the...(Read More)


Army ‘asks’ Phuket operators to cease hiring illegal tour guides

So foreign guides would "exploit" tourists and Thai's wouldn't? It's time t...(Read More)


‘Distressed’ elephant photo spurs zoo probe

..."But they ( zoo keepers) insisted the animals were not suffering any health problem".. ...(Read More)


Army ‘asks’ Phuket operators to cease hiring illegal tour guides

I read again: " The Chinese market has also fallen - meaning that fewer illegal tourguides are ...(Read More)


Stalled start to Phuket’s ‘Seven Days of Danger’ New Year road-safety campaign

Why they announce with dry eyes and 'serious face' twice a year a 7 Days of Danger campaign?...(Read More)


Property owners to be targetted as fake goods raids hit Patong, Central

I wonder why the Patong police were not involved ......? ...(Read More)


Police apologise for Frenchman’s murder

Talk is cheap, let’s see a swift and severe prosecution and sentence. Seems little doubt over his ...(Read More)


Phuket tourist passenger van driver takes out motorbike on second day of work

Very good question regarding insurance. They complain that the tourists without insurance cause a fi...(Read More)