Monday, August 29, 2011

Journée du Livre in Sablet

Wife Shirley and I have repeatedly said that our visit to Sablet in July was our favorite time in the village so far. The weather for the most part was perfect and we saw and experienced a lot of new things, many of which you will read about in future posts.

One of the highlights of our time in Provence was the Journée du Livre in Sablet, the book fair held in the village the third weekend of July every year. On July 16 and 17, 120 writers and poets along with hundreds of readers and curiosity seekers descended upon Sablet for the 24th edition of the Journée du Livre.

Earlier in the week, we would find a notice on our windshield every time we got in our car saying that it was forbidden to park in the main part of the village because of the book fair as of Thursday midnight. On Friday, crews started assembling the various tents for the book fair.

Following are scenes from the Journée du Livre in Sablet. Anyone you recognize?

The book fair hours were from 16 h to 20 h (4 to 8 PM) on Saturday and from 10 h to 13 h (10 AM to 1 PM) and 15 h to 18 h (3 to 6 PM) on Sunday.

Unfortunately, early in the day, it was gray and raining but by the time the book fair began, the rain had stopped so we could stroll around without getting wet.

There were tents set up throughout the main part of the village.

One of the main tents with many writers. Authors were signing books for their readers.

Author's works included literature, travel, regional histories, cooking and wine, children's books, poetry and fiction.

Authors read excerpts and talked about their writings at readings that were scheduled in the various gardens throughout Sablet.

Another group of writers.

You can't have a festival in Provence without wine. The vignerons - wine makers of Sablet put together a special blend of wine to celebrate the book fair.

Another big tent.

As the day passed, more and more people arrived for the book fair.

Of course, you know there has to be a few dogs at a festival in France.

Sylvie Reboul is a wine writer and oenologue who was chosen as the Marraine - godmother of the special wine for the book fair and in consultation with the Sablet wine makers chose the special cuvée - blend for the book fair. I bought one of her books about the wines of the Rhone valley which she happily signed for me.

Cousins Christine and Jean-Marc who came over to eat lunch with us and then stayed to enjoy the Journée du Livre.

Readers buy books and get them autographed by their favorite authors in one of the main tents.

Our friend Bruno was a doing a booming business at the Café des Sports.

More of the crowds at the Journée du Livre.

Tents were set up for authors in front of the boulangerie.

A crowd gathers for the awards ceremony near the fountain a few steps from our house.

The prize winning poet reads one of his poems for the crowd at the award ceremony.

By the end of the weekend, I was feeling quite French as I found a way to park in places that I would never have considered if I was in the United States. Of course, in the US, me and many others would have been towed away by the roving tow trucks. Vive la France.

Bonne journée mes amis et à très bientôt.


  1. Seeing your post reminds me of how much I love festivals in France. And as long as I have my little Renault Twingo, I can park anywhere :)

  2. Hi Michel, That was a really special part of our trip to your place last yr! Did you meet the author/illustrator of the children's books!! We could have spent a lot of money on books there, but our airline flights limited us because of weight!! Cherry

  3. Festivals in France are always special but I have never been to a book festival. My French is terrible though and French books, even children's books I struggle with!!!! I keep thinking a miracle will happen and my French will improve but I am still waiting!!! Great photos. Diane

  4. The Journée du Livre looks like a great event...and so true: You can't have a festival in Provence without wine! I think you are very lucky to have found a village like Sablet, seems like a wonderful place to have a home. Bon weekend!

  5. Meredith - The art of parking cars is something the French have mastered.

    Cherry - Nice to hear from you; yes, we did meet her and bought books for our little ones.

    Diane - We have not been in Sablet before when the book festival took place so that is one of the reasons we went when we did this year.

    Tuula - Thanks, you too! With Labor Day, it will be a long weekend which will be very nice.

  6. Looks like fun. Next time you guys are in the area, let us know. We would love to come visit Sablet, or invite you to dinner here in Marseille.

  7. It looks really great, Michel, I am sure everybody has a lot of fun - something for everybody!!

  8. Megan - It would be great fun to get together with you guys. I will definitely let you know when we are coming back. Have a great day.

    Claudia - Thanks so much for checking in. It is certainly well attended and there are books for every interest.