It's time to step up and support our local shops

I DIDN'T really need another reason to love France.

Between the crepes, cheese, champagne, macarons, pains au chocolat, cute berets, museums and countless foolproof photo opportunities of iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower, it was already pretty high on my list of favourite destinations.

Then the book lover in me raised my opinion of the country even further when I read an article about a troubled Parisian bookshop.

The Librairie Delamain was established in 1700 and has been housed at its current location on Rue Saint-Honore since the early 1900s. But the rent is now doubling and the shop - already operating in a tough market up against e-books and online retailers - faces an uncertain future.

Cue a wave of political and cultural support, with government ministers among those stepping in to join the fight to keep the shop going.

I thought of that story when I heard one of Mackay's few remaining bookstores - Collins Booksellers at Sydney Street Markets - is closing.

It was a wake-up call for me because while I do spend money at local bookstores, I probably spend an equal amount buying online.

The thought of no longer being able to go to a dedicated bookstore and browse racks of hardcopy books saddens me, and no longer will I take it for granted.

If you're a fellow bibliophile - or just a fan of any local business or industry in danger - now is the time to take a leaf from France's book and show your support.

And I won't judge if you fortify yourself for the battle with some champagne and a Nutella crepe.



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