Re: >dead in the water
Some best sellers picked @ random.
Katherine Pancol Muchachas 3. FNAC 20 Euro, Amazon.fr 20 Euro, Amazon.ca 20 CAD
Le capital au XXIème siècle - 23.75 Euro Fnac & amazon.fr, 33 CAD Amazon.ca
Éléments Pour une Histoire de L'Informatique - Euro 31.03 Amazon.fr, 41.62 Amazon CA
Un jour je m'en irai sans en avoir tout dit - Euro 19.95, 24.91 CAD
Euro CAD : 1.45 currently
So, slightly more nuanced than either one of us are claiming. I'll admit to that on my end.
As far as the bookstores go, I lived in Paris for 10 years, so unless the bookseller base has had large improvements, I'll stick to my guns. Some of them are brilliant, many of them are not.
If you like bookstores, one example that got it 110% right when I lived there is Griffe Noir. These guys don't need protection, they have plenty of customers. Mostly because they do know what they are selling and are passionate about books. Their display window traditionally had a book sitting on top of a loo (as in "this is a piece of s**t"), usually selected from a not very deserving best seller.
Overall, putting a floor on book prices is just not a very clever idea at the macro level. Richer people can absorb the cost but you don't want to make it harder for people to afford books.