Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paris Libraries


There are 58 public libraries in Paris where any Parisian can borrow books, CD Roms, magazines (3,5 million publications in total!) ... for free (you can even check availabilities on line) . But on top of these "everyday" libraries there are also specialized ones (historical, tourism, arts...) and the ones that belong to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, where everything what France produced since the beginning of printing (and even before actually!) is kept. This one, called "La bibliothèque de l'Arsenal" is one of them; it shelters a large part of French literature. Of course, now that we entered the digital ages, you can also find and download thousands of French books on line...

52 comments:

  1. An arsenal of books! Now we're talking the kind of army I like. Such interesting wording to describe a repository of books.;-)

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  2. So many books, so little time! And i don't want to read them online, thanks. I want to hold it in my hand and turn the pages.

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  3. This is me handing the crown back to you . . .

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  4. Alexa...this brings to mind that Twilight Zone episode with Burgis Meredith sorting thru all those books to read only to have his eyeglasses break.

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  5. Alexa...do you think the PDP bloggers who are soon to PARTAY at Magots are letting those who can't be there have the GF? What kind souls they are.

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  6. I like the contrast between the black and quite moderne fence with the block capitals and the old buildings behind it.
    The borrow is free but you have to be member of the Library and to pay for it, right? Or maybe it's different in this case?

    Alexa, I'm with you about the books. A book is above all an object, I just can't imagine to read it on a screen. What about the smell of the pages and the noise that the cover makes when you open it!?

    Coltrane, congrates. That's the kind of Arsenal that I like too!

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  7. Libraries and bookstore are my favorite places to hang out.

    Coltrane: You did it again, you stole the crown away from the girls. Please, put the "Hope Diamond" on the crown today....

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  8. Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.

    Groucho Marx

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  9. I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred.
    Ernest Hemingway


    There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.
    Oscar Wilde

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  10. "Books support us in our solitude and keep us from being a burden to ourselves and others."

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  11. Hi Eric,
    Just a quickie to let you know that the benauts were here last night and we had a lovely time. Aren't they delightful people, these two? Of course we talked about you and the wonderful time they had in Paris with you. Lots of love from us all. Thinking of you.

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  12. PS - my own photos of the benauts visit will only appear tomorrow because today I'm dipping my feet in the deep blue!

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  13. The fence around the library looks temporary, is that the case? Like maybe there's some construction going on? Otherwise, why cover up such a pretty building?

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  14. It is a different kind of fence than you would normally see in Paris, isn't it? It really doesn't seem to match the buildings... But, then again, a library is a library!


    I love our library!! It is such a fun place, and many know me by name now. We stopped there today to pick up a new book and my daughter complained because she "only" had enough time to pick out 4 books!! But we go a few times a week, so that shouldn't really be a problem. :)

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  15. Jeff:

    Aaack ack ack ack ack!!

    Popeye

    ; }

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  16. A room without books is a body without a soul.
    — Cicero (106–43 B.C.)

    coltrane -- you won that crown fair and square, mon vieux! Are there now drumsticks hanging from it like fringe?

    guille -- yes, the smell of old books is a beautiful perfume. I love it when I find one that even still has uncut pages.

    petrea -- you must be right about that fence. There are signs on it that say "Chantier interdit au publique" so there's probably work going on back there. But how cool that they put that huge sign on it!

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  17. Yeah, I like it and I don't. Erudition juxtaposed with "Hey! Yo! Dis is da library!"

    All are welcome, of course.

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  18. Hey Coltrane, I forgot to say way to go -- have a great day wearing the crown -- or should I say hi-hat?! ; }

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  19. *drool* That's really all I have to say about the photo & subject metter!

    Coltrane-One of my favorite episodes! I forget if I've mentioned it or not, but I once took a course devoted entirely to the Twilight Zone. Best. Class. Ever. Aside from my 7th grade english class, that is. He's the reason why you have to bother with me so much!!!

    And grrrr for taking the crown. One of these days everyone just needs to stay off PDP until I can get it!!! ;oP

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  20. Good to know! Great post!

    I placed an order for some publications in French a little over 2 years ago, when the dollar was actually worth something over there and it didn't yet cost a couple of arms and legs to get them shipped to you on the other side of the planet!

    I guess we'll all have to go online now, if these keeps up, just download and print, or just upload onto an electronic device and read ... or listen.. Why not.

    I wonder if PDF's, podcasts, etc., will end up in some kind of virtual garage sales like used books do?

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  21. Tomate, no garage sales needed if you want free audio books in French, or dozens of other languages, created and set free by volunteers at Librivox.

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  22. For Gramma Ann the crown is now adorned with golden drumsticks sporting diamond inlays (no rhinestones on this one baby!)

    Carrie...you are on fire--"hi- hat!" Now why didn't I think of that? You have a super duper day yourself. ;-)

    Soosha...a Twilight Zone class? Hey, I would've signed up too. I used to pretend I was Rod Serling with the cig in hand. Now, it's scary...I kind of look like him. I'm in the Twilight Zone.

    Merci all for the GF wishes! It's good to be King!

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  23. I work in a library, so I really like your post. Although the facts are not knew for me ^^

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  24. hi everyone

    the fence is temporary!

    and as I remember from practicing Arsenal library, you don't borrow from it, just read in the nice and comfortable reading room

    coltrane, if you're interested, the name Arsenal is because before the Revolution, this little palace was the home of the Master of Artillery, who had a private library
    He would invite authors and scientists to use it

    The Revolution took it away from him and converted the place into a public library

    there has been quite a strugle these years to keep this library going, because ministry of Defense, which owned the building, wanted to clear the place to store it's archives
    apparently, we won :)

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  25. Gosh, I was there last sunday, paying another visit at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal (www.pavillon-arsenal.com), Paris' architecture and urbanism info center, and there was no fence around the square. In 2 days, installed and already tagged, how efficient we Parisians are !!!
    ;o)

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  26. I want to be there.. I like reading books about History of countries, how they fight for freedom and their persistence to spread unity and peace within the people...

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  27. coltrane: The crown sounds lovely. I like anything that sparkles, even drumsticks...they sound absolutely delectable. Congrats on GF.

    lili: I loved the history lesson. Merci? Is that thanks in French? I hope so.

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  28. Mens Abercrombie and fitch a dit...
    countries, (…) their persistence to spread unity and peace within the people...

    Excellent !

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  29. BIBLIOTHEQUE ... I have always loved that word and seeing it here, so big, wrapped around that gorgeous building is wonderful! Love from the Prairie, ljk

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  30. This reminds me that I have to go to the library today! I love the library and can spend hours there, although mine isn't as grand as yours!

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  31. Lili...I echo Petrea. Great history lesson with a lot of IRONy. Merci!
    Gramma Ann...it's hard to say no to a grandma. ;-)

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  32. IRONy - HA! You make me smile, coltrane.

    Thanks for the info, Lili!

    I can't take my eyes off of those fabulous Parisian rooftops.

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  33. Merci de l'information, monsieur Eric. C'est très bon!

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  34. I just noticed that what I thought was a stenciled or printed sign looks like its just hand painted - check out the Bs - they're each slightly different. To me, thinking of someone going at it with a brush gives it a bit more charm.

    Coltrane, I couldn't soft pedal that one - I had to snare it, I mean,your crown is a cymbal of your reign, right?! I'll tell you -- jokes, you can't live rhythm and you can't live rythoutm. ; }

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  35. Alexa - Ok, so now I've looked up "chantier" to confirm what seems obvous, that the sign means public forbidden in work area, but, at first glance I thought, it can't mean "no public singing" can it!!!? :) No, definitely not in Paris.

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  36. Does anyone know what happened to www.Paris-Live.com? I don't think I can go on without my Eiffel Tower webcam!!

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  37. Suzy - I couldn't get it when I tried parislive.com but when I googled paris webcam it came up and I was able to click on it that way. Hope that helps.

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  38. Wow. And I haven't been able to get on to the CDP portal for a couple of hours. Too busy, it says. Should we chip in and buy a dedicated server?

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  39. Thanks for looking into it, Carrie! That approach isn't working for me, however. I even tried different browsers. Maybe it's just down for maintenance. Or maybe life is over as we know it.

    *sigh*

    Maybe Eric will post a nice ET photo tonight to hold me over. [/hint]

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  40. Guille, I just noticed on FaceBook that you bought me. However, I couldn't find out for how much because the link had expired. That shows you how often I am on FaceBook. The last painting I sold was for US$2,000. That's up since the ones before that were US$1,000. I remember when I sold about 4 or 5 paintings (in 1970's) for about US$175. Those were hard times.

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  41. Lili, Merci for that bit of history. Great of you to take the time.

    Eric, Merci for the links. This photo du jour is just loaded with information.

    Carrie, "no public singing" LOL I thought something like that at first glance too; and then, no, that cannot be right.

    Nasty GG, "already tagged" Yeah, I noticed that too ;-)

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  42. I went to the book store yesterday to feed my addiction and I over heard a teen girl on the phone with her mom: "We're looking at books. No, no one's with us. Nobody likes looking at books but us." She obviously needs a new set of friends, cause all my friends love looking at books. In fact I was almost late to class because I just can't stop myself! Just one more...

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  43. Guille "The borrow is free but you have to be member of the Library and to pay for it, right? Or maybe it's different in this case?" Yes I think so. You wanna know something? I never went to a public library except at college when I was a student...

    Thnaks for the update on the Benauts Nathalie. They really went to see absolutely everyone in the list!! How was the sea?

    Petrea "The fence around the library looks temporary, is that the case? " Yes. Good observation... They are currently working before the entrance that is why they had to put this giant sign.

    Mary "What is the address of this photo?" Well there is no actual address. It's at the Pont de Sully metro station.

    Tomate "I wonder if PDF's, podcasts, etc., will end up in some kind of virtual garage sales like used books do?" Well, yes probably although right now it's hard to imagine ;)

    USElaine. Thank you for the link. I did not even know about it.

    Blacksun "I work in a library, so I really like your post. Although the facts are not knew for me ^^" Wink Wink!

    Nasty GG "Gosh, I was there last sunday, paying another visit at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal (www.pavillon-arsenal.com), Paris' architecture and urbanism info center, and there was no fence around the square." Then you need glasses! The fence has been there for quite some time now. LOL!

    USElaine. "And I haven't been able to get on to the CDP portal for a couple of hours. Too busy, it says. Should we chip in and buy a dedicated server?" I know... We're experiencing a few problems at the moment (Igor and Demosthene are working on it). Sorry...

    Suzy "Maybe Eric will post a nice ET photo tonight to hold me over. " Maybe, but maybe not LOL!

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  44. Carrie...I bow to your royal punship! I'll let you eat bread and cake. ;-)

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