I came across this timely article by the New York Times regarding bookstores in France and bookstores in the US and England. Yet another reason why France never ceases to amaze me.
The French, as usual, insist on being different. As independent bookstores crash and burn in the United States and Britain, the book market in France is doing just fine. France boasts 2,500 bookstores, and for every neighborhood bookstore that closes, another seems to open. From 2003 to 2011 book sales in France increased by 6.5 percent.