Christine Rey, Le Bleuet’s New Lucky Star

In the little village of Banon, perched on a mountainside between the Lure and Ventoux, Christine Rey, with her husband’s support, have just relaunched the bookstore Le Bleuet, renowned for the wealth of its collections. A gamble for this bold woman from Avignon, determined to proudly fly the flag of this temple to books.
By Mélissa Darré

What is your relationship to Provence?

Originally from Avignon, I have always loved the South, its smells and its sunshine. The village of Banon enjoys this quality of life but also brings the peace and calm that can no longer be found today in the large cities of the South.

My path is both literary and musical. I have been teaching music for 26 years and in parallel I’ve done research in musicology at university. I have also written articles for concerts, and for the magazine Zibeline (1), that deals with the cultural news of the region.

What does the Le Bleuet bookshop mean to you? Why did you decide to buy it?

Le Bleuet is a magical place in which it’s so nice to lose yourself. You find what you don’t look for: rare, unusual, sometimes unique books. It is a maze of culture and a place to relax.

We took up the reins quite spontaneously. My husband and I had known this bookstore for many years. And then, at a time when we wanted to change both our environment and life, the opportunity presented itself.

What are your plans and aspirations for the bookshop?

Our main objective is to restore Le Bleuet to its glory days, modernize it while maintaining its special spirit. When we took over at the end of January 2015, we found obsolete inventory, books unfit for sale, and lost and bewildered employees.

Since then, we’ve been striving to return rigor and dynamism to the team. We are making lots of orders in order to rebuild stock and to present the latest releases. We also present cultural events: concerts and exhibitions take place on certain Sundays, and authors are frequently invited to speak and to present their works.

In your opinion, what are the essential qualities of a great book?

To be completely matter of fact, I would say that it is essential to have good publicity and a recognized publishing house, not to mention a practical format and reasonable price. The book world remains merciless!

But a great book is above all one whose story touches the most people, and which will allow each reader to identify with one of the protagonists, such as Manon des Sources by Marcel Pagnol.

www.lebleuet.fr

(1). Zibeline: a regional cultural magazine that covers events organized in the PACA region.

Christine Rey, Le Bleuet’s New Lucky Star
Christine Rey, Le Bleuet’s New Lucky Star
In the little village of Banon, Christine Rey have just relaunched the bookstore Le Bleuet
© Le Bleuet
A temple to books
A temple to books
"Le Bleuet is a magical place in which it’s so nice to lose yourself."
© Le Bleuet
A gamble for this bold woman from Avignon
A gamble for this bold woman from Avignon
"Originally from Avignon, I have always loved the South, its smells and its sunshine"
© Fotolia - Frédéric Prochasson

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