Many a photo of Paris taken from the banks of the Seine, contain these large dark green (often dented and graffitied) metal boxes perched precariously atop the cement walls lining the embankments that run both sides of the river.
These green boxes are owned by booksellers- called bouquinistes, who have been peddling their wares in the City of Light since the 1500's.
During the day, the boxes act as book stalls, with vendors offering a wonderful melange of vintage rare books and artwork, to modern day souvenirs like key chains, reproduction watercolors and French street signs.
I love spending a beautiful sunny day, just meandering the banks of the Seine, browsing the collections of each bookseller. It's an interesting way to spend the day and the view can't be beat! Even if you don't buy- it's an experience just holding a rare French book in your possession- if only for a few fleeting moments.
And while you're stolling, when you come to a bridge, why not cross to the other side- pausing in the middle, to take in the wonderful views and different perspectives as you move up and down the river?
At the end of a busy day, the bouquinistes lock up their boxes, with their goods still inside, and leave the boxes as the recognizable eyesores that have become a staple of the Parisian landscape.
Have you shopped at any of the Bouquinistes in Paris? What was your best find?