Blogs | Dieppe seen by Peter Avis
03/07/2011 - 13:03

Read on the beach

Lire plage 01 <p>The idea is so simple. And yet nobody thought of it before: either in France, or Britain or perhaps anywhere else in the world. It is Lire &agrave; la plage (&lsquo;Read on the beach&rsquo;), a free public library service offered through July and August on a dozen shores along the coast of the Seine-Maritime department of Normandy.</p> <p>The service was introduced in 2006. Since then, a quarter of a million seaside visitors and inhabitants have been happy to sit down with a book borrowed from one of the beach libraries. Reading from East to West (so to speak), you will find them at Le Tr&eacute;port, Criel-sur-Mer, Dieppe, St Aubin-sur-Mer, Veules-les-Roses, St Valery-en-Caux, F&eacute;camp, Yport, Etretat, St Jouin-Bruneval, Ste Adresse and Le Havre. You just arrive at the beach cabin, select your book, sit down on a deckchair that goes with the service and delve into a feast of words.</p> <p>Four hundred deckchairs are available at the temporary reading cabins set up along the coast. A total of 12,000 books &ndash; novels and non-fiction from the council&rsquo;s library stock - are there to be read. Children&rsquo;s books and bandes dessin&eacute;es (the art form beloved of the French, young and old, and developed in Britain by Posy Simmonds, Glyn Dillon and others) are well represented. Library staff are on the spot to supervise the service and to give advice. Sometimes reading events take place by the cabins.</p> <p>Dieppe&rsquo;s 'Lire &agrave; la plage' cabin, announcing its presence with a fluttering flag, is to be found at the western end of the seafront, adjacent to the children&rsquo;s playground and close to Lulu&rsquo;s minigolf.</p> <p>Enjoy your book. And perhaps, after you return home to the other side of the Channel, you might suggest to the council that oversees your favourite seaside resort that Lire &agrave; la plage is an idea worth importing from Dieppe, along with the local cheeses and other tasty morsels.</p> <p><em>PS: If you want to add a comment to this blog, please click on the link below: 'ajouter un commentaire'.</em></p>

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