BBI Boulogne-Billancourt Information talks about Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

BBI Boulogne-Billancourt Information - it's a pretty dull title for a magazine, but a really nice municipal publication just like Boulogne-billancourt is a really nice town. We read it every month to see what is going on in sports, culture, politics, business and best of all the history pages of our city. Julie Fagard, the journalist who interviewed us, clearly enjoys her job. She was lovely, interested and asked some great questions. She very much liked the concept we have put forth. The Book Room is rather unique in Boulogne as there are no English book shops and no used book shops in this town of nearly 110,000. The article has already brought in a dozen customers on the first day we were open after publication! I looks like we've hit a chord. We're happy to give back to Boulogne-Billancourt, the second largest city in Ile de France after Paris (and 30th largest in France), as it is a great place where people are friendly and smiling. There's great shopping on the vibra…

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International Bookstores in Paris

The most recently opened of the bookstores in Paris, our own Bill & Rosa's Book Room, is composed mainly of used English books (about 4500). We also have a certain number of French language books (about 500). And when we also received books in other languages Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Polish we were reminded as to what a cosmopolitan city Paris is. In fact we read recently on the city of Paris' website in carefully inclusive French that the population of the city is composed of 22% Paris-born, someplace else we saw 26% foreign-born and the rest of Parisians are non Parisian French. The international community stems from 176 nationalities. And 3/4 of Parisians think the ideal city is multicultural. This got us to thinking that there must be bookshops that deal in other languages beyond English and French so we set out to see what we could find and composed this list. After the foreign language shops there's a list of English bookstores in Paris and a fe…

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A Passion for Complication

A slightly adapted excerpt from Demystifying the French: How to Love Them and Make them Love You, published by Winged Words Publishing, 2019. Copyright Janet Hulstrand, all rights reserved.

It’s best, whenever possible, to give the merchant exact change when buying something in France. “I do not know why, but I do know that French people really, really, really want you to give them exact change if you possibly can. They just do,” I tell my students.

This can lead to a confusing situation for Anglophones, because the word for “change” in French is monnaie. So if a French person looks at the money you have given them and says “Vous n’avez pas de monnaie?” you might understandably be confused. After all, haven’t you just given them monnaie?

But no, you see, you have not. You have given them argent, which means, literally “silver,” and is the word used for money. Or you have given them espèce, which means “cash”: but you have not given…

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BEWARE THOSE FAUX AMIS 

BEWARE THOSE FAUX AMIS (WORDS THAT LOOK ALIKE IN TWO LANGUAGES BUT HAVE DIFFERENT MEANINGS, SOMETIMES DANGEROUSLY SO) AND INACCURATE TRANSLATIONS! You’re the Chief Information Officer of the French branch of a sprawling multinational, and you’ve been told to upgrade the entire system. Everything. The Works. There are hundreds of thousands of euros to be spent on software, hardware, related staff training and, in conjunction with the Marketing Department, a glossy communication campaign to let the universe know how ultra-wired you are. With almost puerile excitement you grab the phone, call the most renowned supplier in the world and are transferred to an eager young French sales-rep delighted at the opportunity to practice his English. You explain what you’re after. The young man says he’s thrilled to help but his own system is out today. Could you call back tomorrow, he asks, when he’ll hopefully have access to the documents he needs for his pitch. You call the next day. “T…
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Planète Gascogne by Perry Taylor

If you are headed to south west France for your summer vacation or if you've already been smitten by the area or if you appreciate rural France you'll get a kick out of the drawings by Perry Taylor - as he interprets life in Gascony through a whimsical British lens.

Perry Taylor was born in Oxford, England. He was a graphic designer and art director at design studios and advertising agencies in London and Amsterdam for 25 years. He now lives with his wife and chickens in the Hautes-Pyrénées, at the edge of the Gers. The tender and amusing observations of this renowned ‘Anglo-Gascon’ artist, capture the spirit of South West France in his warm and witty drawings, that always contain mischievous details of the locals, their lifestyle, culture, heritage and sports. Drawn in Indian ink and watercolor, his pen strokes provoke smiles from the French, who recognize themselves, as well as the international visitors who have discovered this special part of …

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Having a baby in Paris

This is the second of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant in France and having a baby in Paris

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in Paris: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

This first part is about products. All the products mentioned here are made in France. (For more Made in France companies not related to babies we also have a series of articles on FUSAC :https://fusac.fr/category/made-in-france/ )

And the real story of an accidentally French baby

Diapers

– What's more essential than diapers? It comes right after milk! Finding the right diapers can be quite difficult especially as we know so much about the toxicity of some of them and it is extremely worrying. Luc…

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Moving to Paris or France

Moving to Paris So you are moving to Paris, the city of light! Good news! However, Paris and the French organization in general can be painful for the unprepared. Several Japanese tourists moving to Paris have suffered the so-called “Paris syndrome” – a shock after discovering the difference between the dream city they imagined and the reality of Paris. For example unsafe streets (compared to Japan perhaps, but Paris is not unsafe compared to many other cities), a crowded metro and administrative hassle. The following guide lists some frequent questions newcomers ask when moving to Paris or France. How to find an apartment? First, choose the area! Paris is divided into arrondissements from 1st to 20th, often written in roman numerals: I, II, III, IV, V, VI are very central, with mostly old pre-Hausmann Parisian buildings. They are well suited for wealthy students or workers, but don’t even imagine parking a car. VII, VIII, XIV, XV, XVI and XVII are usually family are…
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Pregnant in France

This is the first of a three part series of articles about being Pregnant in France and having a baby in Paris

Part 1 Pregnant in France: Healthcare and procedures

Part 2 Having a Baby in Paris: Baby Products Made in France

Part 3 Having a Baby in Paris: Resources groups, apps and books that could be useful if you are having a baby in France! 

If you've just found out your are pregnant in France or thinking about having a baby in the near future, we've compiled for you some practical info on the different steps to follow in France. It can be overwhelming at first so in order to have a peaceful pregnancy, it is best to take one step at a time! 

What should I do after my pregnancy test is positive?

First of all, congratulations! It is the beginning of a beautiful and intense journey! The first thing to do is to go and see a doctor in order to confirm the pregnancy with a blood test. My personal preference is an appointment wi…

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Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

What is Bill & Rosa's Book Room ? 

First of all, for us, a Book Room is a comfortable place to spend some time. Think of it as the reading lounge on the ocean liners of yore. Our maître-mots are

Read, Write, Relax. Buy, Borrow, Donate.

Bill & Rosa's Book Room has several aspects. It is a USED BOOK SHOP and a LENDING LIBRARY. There are many novels of all genres for sale plus non-fiction, biographies, history, some poetry, cookbooks, cats, books on Paris or France, memoirs and children's books. Most books are in English, but also in French and even a few bilingual. Prices start at just 2€.

The lending library has four sections :

The Sylvie and Henry Noullet Library: novels mostly in English Bill and Rosa's Library of the American West includes novels, non-fiction and art books in bo…
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Understanding the Municipal Elections in France

First: what is a Municipality? In France a municipality is referred to as a « commune ». The French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin « communia », meaning a large gathering of people sharing a common life; from Latin « communis », things held in common. It consists of the municipal council and the executive which is the mayor and deputy mayor. The mayor, elected by the councillors, is solely responsible for the administration. But he can delegate some of his functions to one or more deputies. In Paris there is a council for the whole city and for each arrondissement. The term hôtel de ville designates the building which houses la mairie. The terme mairie designates the communal administration since the Révolution of 1789. In smaller towns mairie is used for both the building and the administration. Who is elected in the Municipal Elections in France? All French municipalities will elect their local councillors for 6 years all at the same time. …
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