"May the law (Lang) remain" and long live the bookstore!

Cike all independent booksellers, Marie-Rose Guarniéri, guardian of the Abbesses bookstore, at the foot of Montmartre in Paris, gives thanks for this law on the single book price! And she writes it in black and white on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Lang law, promulgated on August 10, 1981. All the booksellers in the world – let’s be modest – envy us this obligation to sell new books at the price fixed by the editor. But what struggles to get there! And what a fascinating story made up of fights and commitments, started by Jérôme Lindon, founder of Éditions de Minuit, then, in 1977, by the association for the unique book price! It was he who instilled his vision of the “book as a risk” to a young minister named Jack Lang, under the chairmanship of the newly elected François Mitterrand. The minister fought hard to get this law passed.

It’s all this political adventure that tells Long live the single law of the price of the book!, a most successful opus, specially produced and available on World Book and Copyright Day only and free of charge for clients of independent bookstores, all at the party this Saturday, April 24.

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Jack Lang entrusts his memories to the literary journalist and writer Mohammed Aïssaoui, documents of the time, so evocative, in support. With humor and great talent, the designer Mathieu Sapin sketches this fight of the Minister of Culture, who wrote to the president “We have won! », But only on January 10, 1985, when all the opponents were defeated!

In this same volume, Jean-Yves Mollier, as a book historian, and Alban Cerisier, as a publisher (Gallimard), each bring the rich originality of their point of view. And, to conclude, pages are given to Agnès Desarthe, who dares to admit that, very young, she hated to read, to better share the path that the books then opened for her. Until writing for all ages.

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The story of this cultural exception resonates strongly throughout this opus, if one remembers (it was last year) what battle was fought for the bookstore to be classified as an “essential trade” in times of pandemic. And it has borne fruit. It is a question of taking advantage of it: our great recent dead remain alive there under the covers: Bernard Noël, Philippe Jaccottet, Édouard Maunick… And good and good living Paul Fournel, we will discover the new novel there, Young-old (POL), where the mysteries of the publishing world through the journey of a writer say a lot about independence.

No, we do not forget the women: from Simone de Beauvoir to Harper Lee, but also from Sally Rooney to Marie Ndiaye, Tiffany Tavernier, Hélène Cixous, Sylvie Germain, including Coco, all have a place of choice. It is this love of books and of freedom together that springs up on the cover of a pleasant green color of this book which opens with a wish from Marie-Rose Guarniéri, “May the law remain! And the joy of reading too!

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