Home > Literary Escapades, Uncategorized > Literary escapade: Bookstores in Rennes, Brittany

Literary escapade: Bookstores in Rennes, Brittany

Like all bookworms, I love visiting bookstores when I’m on holiday. Since this year I’m in France and we have a lot of bookshops, you might expect several bookstore-themed Literary Escapades.

This one is about the historical city centre of Rennes, (pop. 221 000). Of course,  I will only mention the independant bookstores I saw while visiting the city.

The Librairie Le Faillier seems to be the biggest general bookstore, set in an old building.


The libraire at La Nuit des Temps was friendly and helpful. La Nuit des Temps is the title of a novel by SF writer René Barjavel.


Then you have themed bookstores.

La Rose Mystique, dedicated to spirituality…


Ariane, for travel books


L’encre de Bretagne for books about Brittany, by Breton writers or written in Breton.


Pecari, another general bookstore next to a pizza joint


The bookstore Critic


A second hand bookstore, des Mots et des Choses:


And last, but not least, here’s the Gallmeister display window at Le Fallier:


In the end, trout fishing always seems to find me. 🙂

Have a nice Sunday!




  1. July 26, 2020 at 11:23 am

    A pizza restaurant next door to a bookshop sounds perfect to me!


  2. July 26, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing! All look and sound great. I would love especially to visit one day L’encre de Bretagne and La Rose Mystique (would love to explore Brittany and spirituality). I do love the names of the stores too – La Rose Mystique, Ariane…These small and cosy places on cobblestone streets do seem like they have a lot of charm.


    • July 27, 2020 at 7:18 am

      The historical city centre of Rennes is charming. Very old houses, cobblestone streets…

      L’encre de Bretagne is a cozy place with lots of books but also music from Brittany.

      I’m always surprised that these themed bookstores survive in cities like this. It’s not that big. In Paris, you always think “lots of people, lots of traffic”, it makes sense. I guess they find their public.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 27, 2020 at 11:20 am

        Yes, who knows, maybe it is precisely because it is not that big that there are many people who prefer their small, cosy and thematic shops-around-the corner. I am so glad that there is still such a place where these bookshops thrive or at least exist. Great post, once again!


        • July 28, 2020 at 9:22 pm

          I’m happy they survive too. It’s thanks to our willingness to buy books there, well-served by the law on fixed prices for books in France.

          Discounts on books are limited, books aren’t more expensive than in other countries and clients entering a bookstore buy immediately if something sounds good. No need to think you’ll find it cheaper online.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. July 26, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Another French destination to add to my bucket list…thanks for sharing.


    • July 27, 2020 at 7:20 am

      If you’ve never been to Brittany, it’s worth the trip.


  4. July 26, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Oh beautiful! I miss bookshops…..


    • July 27, 2020 at 7:24 am

      Are bookshops still closed in the UK?

      Here they are open and you can get in as long as you wear a mask and wash your hands with hydroalcoholic gel when you enter the store.

      There’s been a serious discussion about bookshops during lockdown. Do we consider them as “vital” stores or not and allow them to remain open? In the end, they remained closed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 27, 2020 at 11:38 am

        I think they’re open, but I haven’t been into town since March – Mr. Kaggsy and I both fall into slightly vulnerable categories so I don’t want to take any risks. I would argue they’re vital, but what would I know???


        • July 27, 2020 at 12:39 pm

          OK. Take care and be prudent, it sounds to be the safe path.
          To me too, they are vital but let’s be honest, we’re a minority here.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. July 26, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Good thing I was used to internet book shops before the lockdown. Are you buying books on the internet these days?


    • July 27, 2020 at 7:28 am

      Yes and no.

      Yes when I download ebooks

      Half yes-half no when I use the website Chez Mon Libraire.

      It’s a website owned and operated by the independant bookstores of my region. They are listed on the site. You look for a book and you can see in which bookstore it is available and make a reservation.
      If the book is not available, you can order it and choose in which bookstore it will be delivered for pick up.

      I use this site because it benefits to independant bookstores.

      Otherwise, since I love browsing through books, I go to independant bookshops. So, no, I don’t buy much online.

      With the fixed price for books, there’s no financial gain to buy a book online anyway.


      • July 27, 2020 at 5:11 pm

        Location, location. When there aren’t many bookshops in a 100 mile radius….


        • July 27, 2020 at 8:37 pm

          Long life to the law that imposes fixed price for books. This is why our independant bookstores are still alive.
          I guess I’d buy online too if I was too far from any bookstore.


  6. July 26, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    How lovely to see so many bookshops, several with their own areas of speciality too. That’s really encouraging. Do you have a feel for how they’ve been doing over the past few months?


    • July 27, 2020 at 7:34 am

      From what I’ve heard, the lockdown time was hard. The government gave subsidies to small businesses, so they benefited from them.

      In my region, there was also a website for small stores where you could buy vouchers to spend after lockdown. It was to help them with cash. I bought several vouchers in different bookstores.

      Some did click & collect as soon as total lockdown was lifted. In my region, as I said to my reply to Guy, independant bookstores have a common website where you can order online and pick up books in the store you choose. It was already there before lockdown and became a useful tool, I suppose. That’s how I discovered the crime fiction bookstore Le petit noir, in Lyon.

      Otherwise, like all other small businesses, they struggle. The end of book meeting with writers doesn’t help either as it brings readers into the store.


      • July 27, 2020 at 8:00 am

        The voucher scheme for small, local shops sounds like a great idea. A lot of residents here seem to be doing more of their shopping locally, which is great, but the loss of author events business leaves a massive hole…


        • July 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm

          Same here… I hope they will all survive.


  7. July 26, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    More of these posts, merci!


    • July 27, 2020 at 7:36 am

      Sure Richard! I have more in store.

      Have you seen the Literary Escapade in Sète?


  8. July 27, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    You have a bookstore devoted to Brittany and I don’t know one in Australia that is devoted to Australia let alone a state or region. I have begged the owner of my local indie to at least have an Australian or Western Australian section but he says it is “impossible”. The only way I can choose Australian YAs for my grandchildren is to look up the monthly summaries of reviews put out by the Australian Women Writers Challenge (there isn’t a comparable site for men writers), make a list, and then check the spines of the books in the YA section for matches. Makes me mad! Talking about you, Crow Books/New Edition, Perth WA.


    • July 27, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Let’s say that Bretons have a strong identity and I’m not surprised they have their bookstore.
      I’ve discovered today that they have a crime fiction publisher who only publishes Breton polars. There are several writers and series, all set in Brittany. More of this later, I got two, we’ll see how I like them.

      I find it strange that your local bookstore doesn’t have an “Australia” section. Here, all bookstores separate French lit from foreign lit. (I think Readings has a section devoted to Australia, no? I spent some time there, choosing Australian books to bring back home)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. July 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    This looks to be like a lovely series, can’t wait. I wonder if you get the chance to took to librarians, see how they’re able to keep up with the challenging times, what their favorite / recommended reads are. I was fortunate to find a couple of interviews with independent librarians browsing through youtube and they have some interesting tricks to keep customers returning. Enjoy your summer 🙂


    • July 28, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      I like doing the Literary Escapades posts. Readers seem to enjoy them too, so we’re all happy!

      I didn’t ask how they lived through the lockdown times. It seems that they found their readers back rather quickly but they missed a lot of sales. Maybe they manage to compensate a bit through click & collect after May 11th. At that time, they were open but libraries were still closed.

      In Lyon, they missed the sales at Quais du Polar, a huge event for the city’s indie bookshops.


  10. Vishy
    August 4, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Beautiful bookstores, Emma! Love the fact that some of the bookstores are themed and have books on specific themes or by specific writers. ‘des Mots et des Choses’ – I would love to visit that 🙂


    • August 5, 2020 at 7:52 am

      Thanks Vishy! I love walking around and visiting bookstores

      Liked by 1 person

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