Paris: City of Light

Public Reading Spaces


Parisian Salons
 ~Salons of   Enlightenment
 ~Madame de   Stäel         
~Salons of the   Restoration
 ~The Salons of   Victor Hugo

Influence of Printed Materials
 ~Pre-Revolutionary   Timeline
 ~Post-Revolutionary   Timeline


Defining the Parisians
 ~Parisians Viewed   by Foreigners
 ~Parisians   Viewed by   Themselves
 ~Paris Fashion





Image 2.7 The Chambre de Lecture de la Fosse, Henon, 1763, Societe Archeologique et Historique de Nantes (Chartier, 211).

This image depicts the reading room in a cabinets de lecture in Nantes. Similar to public libraries but even more accessible, cabinets de lecture provided a well-lit, open room with direct use of the shelves. They enabled an individual to read without the personal expense of buying the book and without the limited schedules of regular libraries. The arrangement of chairs around a table and allowing the individual to search for and locate his own books created a comfortable environment that encouraged educated discussion. As long as a person was literate, he could come and gather informally for a spontaneos exchange of ideas.