«La chambre de l’abbé Pierre témoigne de ses nombreuses lectures», explique Philippe Dupont, directeur du centre Emmaüs d’Esteville

60,000 books were sold at the Abbey-Pierre d’Esteville Center during a “big bookstore”

Sunday 26 June is the seventh edition of “La grande bouquinerie” at the Abbé Pierre Center in Esteville. A popular solidarity exhibition for amateurs.

Book fairs, whether new or used, are not lacking in Normandy. But the event that the Center Abbé Pierre d’Esteville organizes each year has an extra spirit for the Emmaus companions and the people who support them.

For, on the central floor – this place of memory which bears witness to the simple life of the famous abbot – the remaining room is still in the state of its illustrious guest. “He read a lot. He actually lived in a library. Theology, of course, but also all kinds of testimonies and documentaries about society in general, instability, “ Looking at the abbot’s robe and wand, still lying in bed, says Philip Dupont, director of the Esteville Centre, the old VHS tapes that animated his tireless evenings…

“Not all Emmaus centers do the same. Here, we decided to prioritize education and culture and that is why we organize a large library,” He adds. The event, Sunday, June 26, will collect about 60,000 volumes, all in good condition, and the center hopes to attract a thousand visitors for this extraordinary day when access to the place of memory will be free. Humble Hope Since 2019, this massive sale has attracted 3,100 people.

Instability and culture, a necessary couple

But today’s DNA is solidarity. Emmaus books, from donations, and weeds from libraries or other Emmaus centers, are used to fund the proceedings. Other associations such as Amnesty International, Secours Populaire or Books Without Borders also come to sell their work.

For buyers, often avid readers, sometimes companions of solidarity societies, and a few booksellers, books are sorted by genre and subject to avoid diligent searching. The whole day is interspersed with letters from solidarity societies that come to explain their actions.

Culture and instability: they don’t mix. The center is in the process of constructing a 20-place housing for extremely vulnerable people who will become semi-autonomous. ”
They will not have any obligations, but we will encourage them to go to the books, and culture and experience show that they are often thirsty for access to the culture that we can facilitate here”Philippe Dupont, during his presentation of the temporary exhibition “The Genius of the Humble”, measures the so-called “brutality of art” produced by people in a state of fragility and from which emanates a certain pictorial power. Visitors to the Grande bouquinerie will be able to take advantage of it, as will the permanent exhibition of street art.

The center dedicates an opening on June 26, from 9 am, to poetry and to a challenge launched only a few days ago for the comrades of Emmaus. We gave them a poetry contest, we already have 25 contributions, and we hope for more. It happens every day. The jury will prefer three, but it’s not a rating in the strict sense of the word, it would be subjective.” Comrades there almost always talk about love, most often they talk about dad Pierre and Emmaus.


to know

La Grande bouquinerie takes place on Sunday, June 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On-site parking. Free entry (and free visit to the place of remembrance).

Fast food on site (sandwiches).

In case of rain, most activities take place under sheltered tents.

Center Abbé Pierre – Emmaüs, “Place of memory, place of life”, Route d’Emmaüs 76690 Esteville 02 35 23 87 76 contact@centre-abbe-pierre-emmaus.org

The entire program is at http://www.centre-abbe-pierre-emmaus.org/


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