the Booksellers of Paris have a long tradition dating back to the 16th century. At first, small traders operated secondhand bookshops along the Seine. However, this stopped in 1649 because the stalls along the Pont Neuf were prohibited from operating by law. This is due to pressure from “legitimate” bookstores, which were losing business to trade.
In 1762, the word secondhand bookseller appeared for the first time in an edition of the Dictionary of the French Academy, which simply means “bookseller”. It was then used to designate exclusively the antique bookstores in Paris. During the French Revolution, editorial production fell dramatically, with the exception of newspapers and brochures. The booksellers were warmly welcomed during the revolution by aristocrats and the clergy, who aspired to read and acquire old books for their collections. Under the reign of Napoleon I, the quays were embellished and the Booksellers extended intervention area from Quai Voltaire to Pont Saint-Michel on the banks of the Seine.
Today, the green boxes of the Booksellers can still be found along both sides of the Seine. The region has since gained the prestige of being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.