Paris booklover fined for good intentions


A French woman, finished with a book, left it on a street corner in Paris's Barbes neighborhood, hoping it would draw another reader. Instead, it drew a €68 fine for littering.

According to France Blue, the woman told the court "I left the book in the hope that someone would soon adopt it and the book would find an owner,” but justice was deaf, if not blind, to her plea.

She told France Bleu that she had run into that problem so many of us face: second-hand stores no longer looking for books and libraries that no longer take them as donations. She said this was not the first time she had left books out for adoption. 

But this time, she was spotted by Paris’s “anti-incivility” brigade – a mobile group of municipal police created last year to roam the capital in search of minor infractions such as littering.

After the story became public, city officials waived the fine, but she was not happy with that, either: it only applied to her, and “it’s quite symptomatic of our time, the fact that we try to classify everything and apply the law with such zeal. We’re losing our common sense and forgetting that it’s just about wanting to share.”

Photo: Jebulon/Wikimedia: Bouquinistes along the Seine

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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