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.

Splash Beach Club

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
Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

"The court later released him and Yong on bail of B400,000 baht, and Thanee on B500,000, and pr...(Read More)


Two banned trucks hit two motorbikes on same day, same road

Why is the truck on the wrong side of the road, and what part of the accident involved the pickup?...(Read More)


Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

Premchai's been released on bail. Does this mean he has a suspended sentence or that his appeal ...(Read More)


Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

So, just the 1000 dollar question, who did kill the black leopard? Don't tell me that one of the...(Read More)


Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

"How long is the old poor Thai couple.." Try to google it or sent a petition and ask for a...(Read More)


New Zealand mosque attack suspect charged with murder

"addicted to psychotropic drugs" Would that be an excuse for his doings. Surprised that se...(Read More)


Two banned trucks hit two motorbikes on same day, same road

"Where has the reader been the last decades" and what country is suspending a license for ...(Read More)


Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

For how long is the old poor Thai couple in jail for plucking mushrooms in a national park?? How is...(Read More)


Two banned trucks hit two motorbikes on same day, same road

ok the truck should not have been there, but the motorbike was apparently overtaking over a double y...(Read More)


Two banned trucks hit two motorbikes on same day, same road

One wonders who the real troll is... . I use the road on a regular basis and it IS dangerous if one ...(Read More)