Here’s an unexpected victim of the Covid-19 confinement: Book sales.
As of yesterday at least it was not easy to purchase physical books in this country.
Let me explain…
One of the general lockdown measures is as follows:
All non-essential businesses are to remain closed.
The problem is that, beginning with the Spring lockdown, businesses large and small have taken a huge financial hit but bigger businesses have more resources with which to weather financial storms.
The rise of big-box stores and online purchasing (the latter grew exponentially during the Spring lockdown), has constituted a formidable threat to local or independent businesses. A second lockdown feared to be a death sentence.
Lockdown #2 is Different…
During the first lockdown, everything was closed. This time, in an effort to minimize the economic impact, the government has made a distinction between essential and non-essential services. Public services, hardware & grocery stores, food markets, etc. will all remain open as will some stores that make it easier for people to work from home (eg. personal electronics stores).
- Independent book stores have been deemed ‘non-essential’ meaning that they must stay closed and will therefore take another financial hit.
- Large grocery & multi-service stores (which remain open) also sell books… so they stand to profit from book sales at the expense of ‘the little guy’.
The photo below is from a large grocery store that also has a book aisle. The banner reads “sales of books and music FORBIDDEN“. Imagine going into Cosco and having the book aisle closed off.
So now you have people saying that we’re in a Fahrenheit 451 scenario where books are forbidden. Of course it’s not that… it’s a question of the government trying to balance the legitimate concerns of independent booksellers and the public’s desire to be able to purchase books.
It’s yet another example of contention in French society right now.
I had students tell me that one of the things they dislike about their own culture is that ‘The French are never satisfied.” I’m not sure that that’s limited to the French though. To some extent, it’s human nature.
I do know one thing… The Lord offers us contentment. I have more books that I can possibly read during the upcoming confinement and there’s one book in particular that brings me back to a point of balance: The Bible.
“…for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity…. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
1 Timothy 6:6-7
Lord, we trust you. Come alongside those in need.
As always, let what you read inform your prayers for us and for France.
God bless you today!