Bibliothèque de Plage

I’ve written more than once about librairies and how I love them and how important they are in my life, regardless of their location.

A few weeks ago, I had lunch with my family in Courseulles-sur-Mer, between Caen and Bayeux, also known as Juno Beach.


It is a beach where I took long walks when I was a student at the university in Caen. That day, although the weather couldn’t have been more perfect, I only strolled along the boardwalk, leaving the sandy beach to the first tourists of the season.

When I asked my sister about a small wooden structure that stood on the beach, she told me that it was a bibliothèque de plage.

“It works like a library,” she explained. “You pick a book you like and return it when you leave the beach.”

“What if someone doesn’t return the book?” my daughter asked.

“You don’t need a library card but you leave a deposit,” my sister said. “It matches the cost of the book. You get your money back when you return the book.”

Today I read about another bibliothèque de plagelocated in Istres, a town located in the south of France, less than an hour from Marseille.

I find these beach libraries very cool and wish that my favorite beaches in the US offered the same service. But it looks like a French idea.

Anyway, it is raining in Maine and a brick and mortar library sounds more appealing.

At least for today.

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