Home > About reading, Literary Escapades > Literary escapade: Bécherel, a book village in Brittany

Literary escapade: Bécherel, a book village in Brittany

There are several book villages in France and one of them is Bécherel, in Brittany. What’s a book village? It’s a village whose main activity consists in bookstores. Yes, you heard me: a whole village with second hand bookshops. When I discovered there was one near our accomodation in Brittany, I had to visit. Of course. How could I resist?

I arrived early and the village was quite deserted and the bookstores closed.

56_Becherel

I had a walk around the village and took pictures of the various bookshops there:

Bécherel_Bookstores

As you can see, the whole village is made of houses in old stones, everything is beautifully kept.

I spent a lot of time in the bookstore Le Donjon. It’s like a chocolate factory for book lovers. Books everywhere, several floors, odd decorations and stuff lying around. This is the top floor, with the crime fiction paperbacks and children books.

62_Becherel_Librairie_Donjon

This is another floor with its off-the-wall decoration:

65_Becherel_Librairie_Donjon

and another floor. Every nook and cranny is filled with books and objects.

67_Becherel_Librairie_Donjon

and last but not least…

68_Becherel_Librairie_Donjon

This was my favorite shop. I was alone in the store and I asked whether they had a lot of clients. The libraire said that they don’t get too many people at the same time but there’s a constant flow of visitors. I could explore the shelves to my heart’s content and I’ll tell you what books I bought in another billet.

Here are pictures of other bookstores:

Bécherel_Bookstores2

One of the rooms in the bookstore Abraxa was striking:

77_Becherel_Librairie_Abraxa

Look at this flamingo sitting on a wall whose red bricks are made of books. Yes, we need more education.

Here’s another picture of the village. Isn’t it lovely?

Bécherel

It made me think of cozy crime fiction, of Louise Penny’s Three Pines, minus the freezing winters. I can imagine a Miss Marple or a Miss Silver looking for a murderer among supposedly non-violent villagers.

I could have spent a lot more time (and a lot more money ! 🙂 ) exploring all the village’s bookstores. I did come home with a pile of books that almost offsets all the efforts I did to reduce the TBR. Oh well.

Stay tuned to find out about my book haul!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. July 28, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Mmm, without the freezing winters and with crêpes and cidre breton. What a treat.

    Like

    • July 28, 2020 at 9:48 pm

      Definitely. I love crêpes, galettes and cider.

      Like

  2. July 28, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    Oh my…. A village full of bookshops, and they look absolutely gorgeous! Can’t wait to see what the haul is!

    Like

    • July 28, 2020 at 9:49 pm

      It’s a lovely place, somewhere to organize a bookblogger meeting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 29, 2020 at 5:38 am

        Count me in, when we’re allowed to travel again!

        Like

        • July 29, 2020 at 6:17 am

          This is something I’d love to do but it sounds difficult to organize.

          Like

          • July 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm

            As long as you pick a date in Spring or Autumn, I don’t mind when it is.

            Like

            • July 29, 2020 at 5:58 pm

              Easter weekend would be great. It’s spring and everyone in Europe has a long weekend.

              Like

              • July 30, 2020 at 12:58 am

                Good choice. Now all we need is a year…and for that, I’d like you to wait until we in Australia are let off the leash. At the moment, people have to apply for a permit to leave (e.g. my sister in law, to travel to London for the birth of her first grandchild) and they have to pay for two weeks quarantine in a hotel when they get back (about $3000). (People have to do this if they travel interstate too so travel really is for the rich at the moment.)

                Liked by 1 person

              • July 31, 2020 at 6:45 am

                Don’t forget that next time you come to Europe, if you land in London, you won’t be in the EU anymore. I don’t know what that will mean for visas.

                Like

              • July 31, 2020 at 3:49 pm

                I don’t know yet either. I have a British passport but *sigh* it’s useless now so I’ll be using my Australian one.

                Liked by 1 person

              • July 31, 2020 at 9:17 pm

                I have no clue about what the formalities between the UK and the EU will be come January.

                Like

  3. July 28, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Oooh, have to make sure to go there at some point!

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:19 am

      It’s not far from Rennes and less than an hour from the coast.

      Like

      • July 29, 2020 at 10:57 am

        Sounds perfect – although St Malo would be even nicer (but probably unaffordable)

        Like

        • July 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm

          Nice during the summer, not so sure about winter.
          Plus it’s far from your beloved mountains.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. July 28, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Just checked out house prices and I might be able to afford something in that area. Mind you, the weather is like in England, so not sure I want to risk that…

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:20 am

      Same weather as in England, that’s for sure, which is nice at the moment since it’s 35° at home, 38°C forecast this week.

      Like

  5. July 28, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    I plan to retire to Fremantle which has 3 second hand bookshops and one new within walking distance. But a whole book village, that would be heaven.

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:22 am

      There are 8 villages like this in France, Bécherel is the oldest one. I plan on visiting others.

      Like

  6. July 29, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Very lovely! One day when circumstances permit I will have to visit – a whole village full of bookshops sounds wonderful.

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:27 am

      It’s paradise for us, booklovers, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. July 29, 2020 at 12:14 am

    A book village sounds like a heaven to me. With every post of yours I want to visit this place more and more. What a truly lovely series about Brittany – I am really looking forward to your book haul!

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:29 am

      Brittany is a lovely region. Beautiful landscapes, good food, lots of lovely villages and historical places.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. July 29, 2020 at 12:14 am

    Very cool. I’d love to visit! Thanks for sharing! x

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:31 am

      You’re welcome, I love to spread the word about book places like this.

      Like

  9. July 29, 2020 at 2:13 am

    Thanks, I didn’t even know that type of things existed! Are there more villages like this in France??

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:36 am

      I visited the book village in Lorraine 20 years ago. (Fontenoy-La-Joute)
      There’s Bécherel in Brittany, obviously.

      The other ones are:

      – Montolieu, Occitanie, between Narbonne and Toulouse
      – Cuisery, Burgundy, between Mâcon and Chalon-sur-Saône (This one I will visit soon)
      – La Charité-sur-Loire, Burgundy, near Bourges
      – Montmorillon, Poitou-Charentes, near Poitiers
      – Ambierle, AURA, near Roanne (This one I need to visit soon too)
      – Esquelbecq, Hauts de France, near Dunkirk

      I can’t believe I didn’t know about Cuisery and Ambierle, they’re not far from home.

      Like

  10. July 29, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    thanks so much. I even had a friend living in Cuisery, but I never visited, even though I was in Dijon. But that was decades before book blogging.
    I actually looked around after my comment, and saw some of these in France. I also found this cool post for book towns world wide: https://ebookfriendly.com/prettiest-book-towns-villages/

    Like

    • July 29, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      I’m looking forward to visiting Cuisery.
      Thanks for the link!

      Like

  11. Vishy
    August 4, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    This is so wonderful, Emma! I want to visit Bécherel! It is a book lover’s heaven, I think 🙂

    Like

    • August 5, 2020 at 7:53 am

      I’m going to visit other book villages in France. Look at Emma’s comment (from Words & Peace), she found out about other book villages in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. August 16, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Good post

    Like

  1. July 29, 2020 at 7:54 am

I love to hear your thoughts, thanks for commenting. Comments in French are welcome

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