One of the differences between France and North America is its sheer numbers of bookshops. Mirepoix (population around 4,000) has a good independently run one on the main square. Even the nearby SuperU has a commendable book selection. Pamiers--four times as large--has three bookshops that I know of. The departmental capital, Foix, a town of around 10,000, has the huge Majuscule store--one of a chain--and a couple more. And on it goes....
And libraries are everywhere.
(Drifting off-topic for a moment. You would think that librairie is French for "library." It's not. A librairie is a bookshop. A library, as we know it, is called a bibliothèque.)
For the past several months, work has been underway on Léran's new library, which now occupies a brand-new space above the former mairie.
Some days ago, invitations were hand-delivered to all residents, with a request to respond if we were attending.
Official red-white-and-blue ribbon-cutting by our mayor, Henri Barrou, took place around 5:30 p.m., and the crowd and the queue outside all ascended the brand-new flight of stairs into the new, bright space. It's terrific with upbeat orange walls, lots of seating and books for little kids, and a collection of fiction and non-fiction that I can't wait to get my teeth into, metaphorically speaking.