Rabat: The unalterable resilience of bookshops

Imposing open-air bookstore, the Bab El Had square of Rabat offers to the book dealers, true symbol of authenticity, a space to devote to their passion. Passers-by who love old books come to consult and acquire these nuggets at a lower cost, without depriving themselves of the pleasure to discuss and socialize. Illustrating itself as a cultural actor in the promotion of the literary heritage of all horizons, the booksellers are proud to exhibit their treasures, testimonies of black ink, precious writings so useful to furnish the difficult days or to brighten up the readers and to offer them moments of delectation.

However, it is clear that they are faced with many problems. They find themselves almost helpless in the face of the significant decline in their status, with a constant drop in their turnover. The boom they used to experience has come to an end due to a combination of factors including the period of pandemic crisis aggravated by confinement, digital invasion, book piracy and disruption due to the reform of the nomenclature of school books. Some bookstores have however tried to make their change, opening their site “showcase” on the Internet, as is the case for Abdellah, who holds store in Rabat. He launched a website with a diversified catalog to continue selling books, magazines, posters, prints and other old papers.

The crisis of the book following the socio-economic upheavals of recent years has only worsened the situation of many bookstores, even pushing them to change their profession. Those still animated by patience and passion, survive despite the difficulties by keeping pace with cultural events. The book fair, for example, flourishes an active trade that makes the happiness of regulars and the curious, all under tents erected to house a literature of all kinds.

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