Monday, January 16, 2017

"Journée du Livre" de Sablet , a Book Lovers Paradise

Beyond the wines which are classified Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Sablet for the red, white and rosé wines produced by the Sablet vignerons, Sablet is probably best known for its "Journée du Livre". You ask what is the "Journée du Livre"? It is a book festival that takes place the 3rd weekend of July on the squares and streets of Sablet every year.

That is every year except this year when the 29th edition of the "Journée du Livre" was moved to the 9h and 10th of July so it would not conflict with the Tour de France. We were fortunate to be in Sablet this year for this special weekend when books and wine come together in Sablet.

Entrance into Sablet

Jean Raspail, a writer who lived in Sablet along with Jean Ripert and Jean-Pierre Buillet, members of the association, "Compagnons du Barrys" were responsible for planning the 1st "Journée du Livre" that took place on July 24, 1988. As I said above, the idea behind the festival was to unite books and wine so the Sablétains vignerons could promote their wines.

"Journée du Livre" welcome tent

Earlier in the week, we found notices on our windshield every time we got in our car 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.

Book tent in front of village bibliothèque (library)at Place de Verdun

Tables set up in front of the boulangerie for festival goers to sit and enjoy refreshments

About 90 writers and poets were set up at various tents around the village where they autographed and sold their books. There was also a full schedule of readings that were held in gardens around the village.

One of the larger author tents

Place de l'Aire de la Croix in front of Café des Sports

Bruno Bordeaux did a brisk business at Café des Sports

You can't have a festival in Provence without wine. For 2016, a writer named Isabelle Alonso was chosen the "marraine" (godmother)for the special wine and in consultation with the Sablet winemakers selected a special "Journée du Livre" de Sablet cuvee for the book festival.

"Journée du Livre" de Sablet red and white cuvees

The special cuvee was available for tasting along with other wines produced by Sablet vignerons at the winemakers tent.

Winemakers tent

More writer tents

Author's works included literature, travel, regional histories, cooking and wine, health, children's books, poetry, mysteries, first novels, and comics.

As the day went on, more and more people arrived to visit the authors

82 year old writer/journalist François de Closets presided over the "Journée du Livre" which took place in the village on Saturday from 4:00 to 8:00 PM and Sunday from 10:00 Am to 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Welcome and announcements are offered by VIPs in attendance at the festival

The winner of the prize for first novel entitled "Je me suis tue", Mathieu Menegaux departed with his weight in wine after the traditional weighing of the writer.

Friends converse

A curious villager checks out what's happening at the Café des Sports

Tent promoting the Festival des Soupes

Empty writer's tent during the all important lunch break

Book festival attendees cross Place de l'Aire de la Croix

Shirley visits with her friend Sylvie in front of Café des Sports

I mentioned a the beginning of this post, that some of the "Compagnons des Barrys" were instrumental in starting the annual "Journée du Livre." The members of this association have also made it their mission to preserve the village ramparts (defensive walls) seen below.

Fund-raising over the past few years has enabled the restoration of a medieval watch tower and the Place des Barrys as public spaces; an ancient olive mill in the lower parts of one of the rampart houses, also open to the public, and the creation of 'L'Oustau di Barrys', an exhibition space for art, photography or objects of historical interest, within the rampart walls.

Sablet defensive walls

I am an old fashion book lover. I don't down load books on a kindle or iPad. So to see all of these authors and their books together in Sablet was very cool for me. Have a great week. A bientot mes amis.

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