Has everyone in France "had enough" of Amazon?

According to the BBC News website, the French Minister for Culture, said last June that "Today, everyone has had enough of Amazon." This is part of a story on a bill, apparently already halfway through the Assemblée nationale and with broad support, designed to further restrict discounting of books and clearly hitting primarily at Amazon.

My question is whether it's better to support local bookshops by insisting on high prices, which may or may not be legal under EU law, or to make books more accessible to the wider market by allowing prices to be seriously discounted, to the possible detriment of local bookshops and the communities they support.

Assuming this bill becomes law, what impact do people think it might have on their lives and communities? Are there other areas where this kind of "protectionism" might be invoked? Might Amazon respond by extending their Free "Super Saver" delivery service for purchases over £25 to France? (It currently covers 11 European countries, including Belgium, Iceland & Poland.)

Has anyone tried The Book Depository ? There is free shipping worldwide on all their books. Ideal to use as Christmas is coming.

Roger, here's what I picked up yesterday - at €1,00 each and three freebies (UK newspaper ones - yes given away!)

View to kill - Roger Moore as 007; Triple Cross - Christopher Plummer; Singing in the Rain - Gene Kelly etc., The Magnificent Seven - Yul Brynner; Le Petit Monde de Don Camillo - Fernandel (English subtitles); Charade - Cary Grant, and the freebies were The Cassandra Crossing - Richard Harris; El Cid - Charlton Heston and A Town Like Alice - Virginia McKenna.

On top of that I bought the three-book set of The Oxford Library of Words & Phrases (Quotations, Proverbs, Word Origins) in as-new condition, for just €2,00.

I COULD have bought, but didn't a full set of Poirot DVD's (bargainable but starting at €1,00 each) but I have a lot of these so couldn't remember which ones I had already. I also COULD have bought, and now can't imagine why I didn't buy it - Untold Stories Collection by Allan Bennett. Hardback for just €2,00 and I would probably have got it for half that. I think my wife interrupted me with her €3,00 purchase of a beautiful large pure wool blanket.

On top of that I visited two new places I didn't know. Creysse being architecturally very special. and Prandaigne being unique by having the Puce in a forest.

I think that just about wraps up the season here in Correze and Northern Lot, but lots to enjoy over the winter months.

Plus lunch, so altogether another good day - and also good for working the French language.

I was very sorry to hear this news. Apart from the fact that I buy just about everything on Amazon, the very idea that any Government, in this day and age, would take any sort of action that makes reading more expensive, is staggering. Even third world countries are doing everything they can to encourage children to read. What would the French government prefer, children sitting in front of the television? I am a socialist and as such had high hopes of the new government. They have disappointed on every front. I live in a country area where the people are charming and life is as it was 20 years ago in the UK but I do not fool myself that France can remain a rural backwater and survive. My neighbours are amazed when I tell them of the services we have in the UK, the goods we can get and the prices we pay. Yet an American can get twice as many things, delivered at twice the speed. So why shouldn't the French have access to these things. Women in France have to work now and I think they should be able to have goods delivered at a reasonable price and with a good choice. I also understand that 71% of people interviewed about Sunday opening were in favour. I fought against it in the UK but when I became Personnel Manager of a large Department Store I found many people for whom a weekend job or evening job was a boon as they were simply unable to work mornings or early afternoon due to family commitments.

These days Amazon isn't just about books, they sell a great range of stuff at good prices, deliver quickly and tend not to quibble if you need to return anything. Whilst I haven't had the same problems with French shops as some people on SFN, I rate Amazon highly for their customer service. If it is a question of a 90km round trip to Lyon or buying from Amazon for 1 item, they win.

Just wanted to thank Nick Allbeury for the info about Awesome Books. I am on a bit of a Bill Bryson binge having just started reading his books, and I have just placed an order with Awesome for three of his titles that I have been lusting after for a while - all three together for the princely sum of just over €9, with no postage and packing to pay so thank you, Nick, very much!

French protectionism is bizarre and as others have pointed out self-defeating. As a for instance, we tried to get quotes for producing our books in France. Incredibly we did not get one answer from the print companies we contacted - not one! We investigated and found that if we produced our books in France we could post them to say Australia for €15,00 but if we stocked and despatched from here that postage would be €50,00!

However as I say it was a non-issue and so our order worth €40,000 went to a print company in Hungary (could equally have been in Spain). Unions,? Government (and for once I can't blame this current crop of loons), or simple disinterestedness by French business? Maybe a bit of all of them. Our next order batch is worth over €100,000 if we go to print, but we won't even be thinking of a French company as suppliers.

This is from a man who loves this country, but just can't hack trying to do business here. Thank goodness those decisions have now been transferred back to Australian head office.

Just a side issue, I heard that one of my favorite authors, Tom Clancy died the other day. With him and Robert Ludlum two giants of their genre gone in a couple of years. Inevitable but sad to me, seems to be happening quite a lot in my generation.

Hi Jeanette, yes definitely one of my great finds on 2013! Wish I could find out how they did the free postage bit especially as the books arrive by one of the major courier services.

I generally agree Graham and Veronique, however for many years there will be a market for books, CDs and so on and in that regard I think we will all agree in saying how dare a government make the things cost more than they need to and prevent people from have books, music, films or whatever because they cannot afford full prices and sometimes full price plus a bit.

I've used Awesome books for over a year and they're excellent. last week I ordered 7 books from UK and the total cost was £24 incl postage. As for Amazon I think its great as I can order presents for birthdays , Christmas etc at Amazon in the various countries that my family live eg amazon.de ; and don't have to pay exorbitant packaging and postage costs , they'll even wrap them in pretty paper and put messages on the prezzies. Very good service and often at better product prices than other "catalogue" type providers.

I should say that I buy usually secondhand and sometimes rare books from an excellent website called Abe Books which is a site offering stock listings from independent booksellers around the world at competitive pricing. Like another correspondent here we are a long way from shops offering a variety of goods that interest us so we buy stuff on the internet from all over the world. Car parts from the UK, maybe Germany or the USA. Antiques from the UK, France, Switzerland and sometimes the USA. Asian and sometimes British food from the UK. Books from the UK, France and USA. Clothing from the UK, France and sometimes USA. Sure we use local shops and producers but we are at least an hour away from any medium size city and to get to a large city takes 2 hours and Paris 5.5 hours so we use the internet. It's great and you can't put the clock back. I even met my wife on the internet! I think that the French government would prefer that you only bought stuff from your village shops and only married people from your village or the next one.

gosh, Norman - thats amazing. NO POSTAGE! I just tried awesomebooks, four sec hand arts books, free post, for 11 euros! shopping to die for.

My apologies for all the typos in the previous messages; Hey, it's still not even 6.00am and only one coffee so far!

Roger, I suggest the Puces route is agood one to follow. last week I bought the following for just .75c each;

Hang 'em high - Clint Eastwood,,The Comancheros - John Wayne, My Neighbour the Killer - Bruce Willis, The Secret of my Success - Michael J Fox,Joan of Arc - Leelee Sobieski, Cast a Giant Shadow - Kirk Douglas, hadow Makers - Paul Newman, Les Promesses de l4Ombre - Naomi Watts, Judged Guilty - Clint Eastwood, To Hell and Back - Audie Murphy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Newman & Redford,El Dorado - John Wayne, The Battle of Midway Henry Fonda, Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood, Memories of our Fathers - Clint Eastwood (dir), Ice Age 2.

OK says a lot about my viewing likes, but there are generally a good selection everywhere for about a euro each. Rarely do I pay more,although I have stretched to €2,00 a couple of weeks back to get Avatar and Skyfall in original packing.

Oddly Puces also give me the chance to buy a film about which I know little or nothing for very little financial risk - plus the side benefit of visiting villages I haven't even heard about so compounding the pleasure.

NB all the DVD's come with French packaging, so just check out the language choices on the reverse side. Personally I like subtitles because of my deafness, and as I can read French well, that also opens up other choices of completely French films to enjoy.

Tomorrow two new locations Prandaignes in the Correze and Creysse in the Lot. Great stuff and always unexpected.

You can also check out the 'offers' listed under most amazon listings of DVD's, but postage is the killer for me. In fact postage costs are one of the major killers to physical book sales anyway. Our books range in weight from 2-3kg each so you can imagine the postage to places like South Africa and Australia - up to €50!

Try looking at a company called awesomebooks.com especially in their second-hand or bargain sections. The claim to have over 2 million books in their listings and it seems true. They ahev also found a way ( which we haven't) of being able to send two books or more ordered - for zero postage in Europe and North America - with NO minimum order value.

If yu still want physical books, they are well worth checking out. NB Nothing to do with my Company.

I felt endeared to - (ok, maybe a tad folksy ) - notions of protecting little businesses and local culture, on first consideration of what looks like a sinister move towards a Terreur/Eжовщина purge. If any bottom line is about how much faith is reasonable, in the 'Invisible Hand' then can there be easy answers when countries demonstrating greatest affection for that idea (eg UK/USA) appear in the bottom third ref recent stats on the well being of their children? UK had a law not unlike it, dating from 1899 (the Net Book Agreement) (not 'net' as in www) that fell apart in 94, so I suppose a French equiv might survive a few years, but the internet is making life very different in so many ways for everyone, so perhaps France will choose to unplug itself entirely, bringing an end to most of my, and perhaps your - shopping. Amazon is reliable in my experience, no objections at all, but for books - Abe secondhand often seems better. The number of companies online, that prove trustworthy - grows. So ref the law - "what impact do people think it might have on their lives and communities?"...... no idea at all. My guess is - zilch. plus - people will work hard to find ways around it, and probably succeed?

I use Amazon.co.uk for buying used English language DVDs. If someone can propose an equally cheap alternative I will be interested.

Dear Fiona

Totally agree. And I'm a bit upset that you've been put off from posting due to strong views. Sorry about that. Any chance I can pm you / catch up on the phone to try to improve things? Have a lovely weekend anyway x

Totally agree with you Fiona. Amazon has always offered excellent service for competitive prices. Result - I buy from them.