Essai photographique résalisé comme projet de fin de session,  dans le cadre du cours News and feature Photography, de l’Université Concordia.

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A few months ago, an independent bookstore moved in my neighborhood. I was quite surprised to see the opening of this type of business. While stores like Renaud-Bray fiercely eat up Quebec’s book market, and with new technologies like the Ipad and digital books, I wondered if there are really so many people who attended bookstores.

Through my thoughts, wandering and searching, I finally discovered fantastic bookstores that seem to have stopped in time, at an unknown period, between the virtual and tangible world. From used bookstores to specialized or generic ones, each bookstore where I’ve been, I felt very light despite their overloaded spaces.

For this project, I did not want to burden myself with solid equipment so I decided to use my travel camera. A tiny film camera from 1976 : Konica S3, F1.8, semiautomatic. This device allows me to go undetected and to blend into the background, but it forces me to reflect and observe, perhaps more than with a digital camera, forgiving lot more while expanding the possibilities.

So I imposed myself a very limited tool. But there is something more natural I think, with film photography, which is closer to the experience of visiting these places, where time stops. The black and white choice also helps to give an impression of something old but timeless.

While talking with the booksellers that I met, I was surprised to hear that business is not going so bad. However, Jean-Bernard Vidal from Millenium Bookstore told me that things had been better, but nothing alarming. There will always be people that are passionate about books. Books in general, but also more specialized works, or used (and cheaper) ones are often in independent bookstores where they can be found.

Finally, I think that the last bookstore is not near disappearing. Instead, it’s just stopped in time, somewhere before new technology and huge libraries chains.

Part of the frontage of Librairie Encore, on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Que., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. The family-run bookstore opened in 2004 and is specialize in sale and purchase books of all kinds, but also records and DVD. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Part of the frontage of Librairie Encore, on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Que., on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. The family-run bookstore opened in 2004 and is specialize in sale and purchase books of all kinds, but also records and DVD. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Michel Lefebvre owner of Librairie Henri-Julien, in Montreal, Que., observes one of the books brought by a client, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. The bookstore specializes in selling and buying quality used, old and rare books. Lefebvre works there since the opening, 27 years ago. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Michel Lefebvre owner of Librairie Henri-Julien, in Montreal, Que., observes one of the books brought by a client, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. The bookstore specializes in selling and buying quality used, old and rare books. Lefebvre works there since the opening, 27 years ago. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Ariel Soucy observes some books inside of the most famous independent bookstore in Montreal, Que., the Librairie Henri-Julien, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. From floor to ceiling, the bookstore is filled with books from all periods, at all prices. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Ariel Soucy observes some books inside of the most famous independent bookstore in Montreal, Que., the Librairie Henri-Julien, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. From floor to ceiling, the bookstore is filled with books from all periods, at all prices. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Christina Viel, one of the four employees of Millenium, a comic bookstore in Montréal, Qué., works on Sunday, Nov., 22, 2015. Viel, which was hired 5 months ago, stands beside the new book of Michel Rabagliati, a famous Quebec cartoonist. Millenium is specialized in American, French and Canadian comic books. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Christina Viel, one of the four employees of Millenium, a comic bookstore in Montréal, Qué., works on Sunday, Nov., 22, 2015. Viel, which was hired 5 months ago, stands beside the new book of Michel Rabagliati, a famous Quebec cartoonist. Millenium is specialized in American, French and Canadian comic books. (Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

An employee of Librairie Encore, located on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Que., Gabriel (unknow family name) works during a busy afternoon, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. The bookstore is renown for it colourful and cozy space, a funny decor with dozens of posters, cadres and floor-to-ceiling shelves.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

An employee of Librairie Encore, located on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Que., Jean-Gabe Brindamour works during a busy afternoon, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. The bookstore is renown for it colorful and cozy space, a funny decor with dozens of posters, cadres and floor-to-ceiling shelves.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

 

Detail from inside of the most famous independent bookstore in Montreal, Que., the Librairie Henri-Julien, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. On the wall, a drawing of Francois Rabelais, a French Renaissance writer, physician and humanist.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Detail from inside of the most famous independent bookstore in Montreal, Que., the Librairie Henri-Julien, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. On the wall, a drawing of Francois Rabelais, a French Renaissance writer, physician and humanist.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

The owner of Millenium, a comic book store of Montréal, Qué., Jean-Bernard Vidal poses in the middle of his shop, on Sunday, Nov., 22, 2015. Vidal owned Millenium since 25 years and it’s the only comic book store in Plateau Mont-Royal. The shop specializes in American, French, Belgium and Canadian comic books.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

The owner of Millenium, a comic book store of Montréal, Qué., Jean-Bernard Vidal poses in the middle of his shop, on Sunday, Nov., 22, 2015. Vidal owned Millenium since 25 years and it’s the only comic book store in Plateau Mont-Royal. The shop specializes in American, French, Belgium and Canadian comic books.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Marc Danis, a client of Librairie Encore, located on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Que., leaves the bookstore, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Danis come here often, mainly to buy used DVD and vinyls. « I always come here with the hope to find hidden gems, so I can spend the afternoon searching,» said Danis about Librairie Encore.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

Marc Danis, a client of Librairie Encore, located on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal, Que., leaves the bookstore, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Danis come here often, mainly to buy used DVD and vinyls. « I always come here with the hope to find hidden gems, so I can spend the afternoon searching,» said Danis about Librairie Encore.(Marie-Pierre Savard / JOUR523)

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