eReaders are failing to catch on in France where readers prefer paperbacks and show no interest in following the eReading trend.
eading habits were back on the political agenda in France this week
when Hollande's government, vowing to protect the printed word and
France's bookish reputation, announced it would roll back Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial VAT rise on books.
In contrast to the UK's famous three-for-two deals, the French state fixes the prices of books
and readers pay the same whether they buy online, at a high-street
giant or a small bookseller. Discounting is banned. The government
boasts that price controls have saved small independent bookshops from
the ravages of free-market capitalism that were unleashed in the UK when
it abandoned fixed prices in the 1990s. France has more than 3,000
independent local bookshops and 400 in Paris, compared with around 1,000
in the UK and only 130 in London. But online book giants are still
eating into small bookshops, many of which struggle to stay afloat.