Books in France

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As of 2018, five firms in France rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Éditions Lefebvre Sarrut [fr], Groupe Albin Michel, Groupe Madrigall [fr], Hachette Livre (including Éditions Grasset), and Martinière Groupe (including Éditions du Seuil).[1][nb 1] Other major book publishers in the 2010s include Éditions Gallimard.


See also: Global spread of the printing press: France; Manuscript culture: Booksellers in Paris; History of printing in Brittany [fr]; History of printing in Lyon [fr]; History of printing in Mayenne [fr]

"In 1292 the book-trade of Paris consisted of 24 copyists, 17 bookbinders, 19 parchment makers, 13 illuminators, 8 dealers in manuscripts."[4]

In Paris in 1470, Martin Crantz, Michael Freyburger, and Ulrich Gering produced the first printed book in France, Epistolae (letters), by Gasparinus de Bergamo.[5] In 1476 in Lyon appeared one of the first printed French-language books, La Légende Dorée (Golden Legend) by Jacobus da Varagine.

The French royal library began at the Louvre Palace in 1368 during the reign of Charles V, opened to the public in 1692, and became the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 1792. The Centre National du Livre (Center for the Book) formed in 1946. The Salon Livre Paris [fr] began in 1981.

The history of the book in France has been studied from a variety of cultural, economic, political, and social angles. Influential scholars include Roger Chartier, Robert Darnton, Elizabeth Eisenstein, and Henri-Jean Martin.


See also: French booksellers and Category:Bookstores of France

The Cercle de la Librairie [fr] (book trade union) organized in 1847 in Paris, and the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne booksellers association in 1914.

L'Express started a bestseller list in 1961, and Livres Hebdo [fr] started one in 1984.[6]

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ The same five also topped the list in 2016 and 2017.[2][3]


  1. ^ "The World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2018", Publishers Weekly, US, 265 (38), 14 September 2018
  2. ^ "World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016", Publishers Weekly, US, 26 August 2016
  3. ^ "World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2017", Publishers Weekly, US, 25 August 2017
  4. ^ "Book-trade". Chambers's Encyclopaedia. 2. London. 1901.
  5. ^ Claudin 1898.
  6. ^ Lacôte-Gabrysiak 2010.
  7. ^ Martine Poulain (2016). "France". Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (4th ed.). ISBN 9781466552593.
This article incorporates information from the French Wikipedia.


in English

in French

  • Bibliographie de l'Empire français (in French) 1811-
  • fr:Revue française d'histoire du livre (in French), Société des bibliophiles de Guyenne, OCLC 647906247 1971- [1]
  • Henri-Jean Martin; Roger Chartier, eds. (1989–1991). Histoire de l'édition française (in French) (2nd ed.). Paris. ISBN 2213024006.
  • Pascal Fouché, ed. (1998). L’édition française depuis 1945 (in French). Éditions du Cercle de la Librairie. ISBN 2-7654-0708-8.
  • Lylette Lacôte-Gabrysiak (2010). "C'est un best-seller! Meilleures ventes de livres en France de 1984 à 2004" [Bestselling books in France from 1984 to 2004]. Communication (in French). Canada: Université Laval. 27. doi:10.4000/communication.3130. ISSN 1920-7344 – via


External links

  • "(Place:FR)", Incunabula Short Title Catalogue: the International Database of 15th-century European Printing, British Library (Bibliography of editions published in France; also browsable by town)
  • Institut d'histoire du livre (Institute for the History of the Book), Lyon, est. 2001
  • Ian Maxted (ed.), Exeter Working Papers in Book History, UK. (Includes some info on France)
  • "National Bibliographic Register: France". The Hague: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (Includes books)
  • "French Printed Collections, 1501-1850". Help for Researchers. UK: British Library.
  • "(su:Book industries and trade -- France)". WorldCat. US: OCLC. (Bibliography)
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