As of 2018, five firms in France rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Éditions Lefebvre Sarrut [fr], Groupe Albin Michel, Groupe Madrigall (including Éditions Gallimard), Hachette Livre (including Éditions Grasset), and Martinière Groupe (including Éditions du Seuil).[1][nb 1]


Further information: Global spread of the printing press § France, and Manuscript culture § Booksellers in Paris

See also: fr:Histoire de l'imprimerie en Bretagne, fr:Histoire de l'imprimerie à Lyon, and fr:Histoire de l'imprimerie en Mayenne

In 1292 the book-trade of Paris consisted of 24 copyists, 17 bookbinders, 19 parchment makers, 13 illuminators, 8 dealers in manuscripts.[4]

In Paris in 1470, Martin Crantz, Michael Freyburger, and Ulrich Gering produced the first printed book in France, Epistolae (letters), by Gasparinus de Bergamo.[5] In 1476 in Lyon appeared one of the first printed French-language books, La Légende Dorée (Golden Legend) by Jacobus de Voragine.

The French royal library began at the Louvre Palace in 1368 during the reign of Charles V, opened to the public in 1692, and became the Bibliothèque nationale de France in 1792. The Centre National du Livre (Center for the Book) formed in 1946. The Salon Livre Paris [fr] began in 1981.

The history of the book in France has been studied from a variety of cultural, economic, political, and social angles. Influential scholars include Roger Chartier, Robert Darnton, Elizabeth Eisenstein, and Henri-Jean Martin.


Further information: Bookselling and Category:Bookstores of France

The Cercle de la Librairie [fr] (book trade union) organized in 1847 in Paris, and the Syndicat National de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne booksellers association in 1914.

L'Express started a bestseller list in 1961, and Livres Hebdo [fr] started one in 1984.[6]

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ The same five also topped the list in 2016 and 2017.[2][3]


  1. ^ "The World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2018", Publishers Weekly, vol. 265, no. 38, US, 14 September 2018
  2. ^ "World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016", Publishers Weekly, US, 26 August 2016
  3. ^ "World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2017", Publishers Weekly, US, 25 August 2017
  4. ^ "Book-trade". Chambers's Encyclopaedia. Vol. 2. London. 1901.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ Claudin 1898.
  6. ^ Lacôte-Gabrysiak 2010.
  7. ^ Martine Poulain [in French] (2016). "France". Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (4th ed.). Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781466552593.


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