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Open, Free, and Ready: A Cutting-Edge Bookstore in the Marais


Open, Free, and Ready: A Cutting-Edge Bookstore in the Marais

June 5, 2013

In 1995, brother-sister team Alexandre and Marie Thumerelle found it impossible to source all the books and magazines they wanted from just one shop. Back then, and as is typical Parisian fashion, you had to span the entire city, going from shop to shop, collecting each item. So the Thumerelle siblings opened up 0fr, a librarie-galerie in the Marais, a neighborhood that has grown around them over the past 15 years.

Piled high in the shop are art, architecture, and photography books, magazines, and a collection of literary tomes. The name, 0fr, stands for “Open, free, and ready,” which describes the owners’ approach to book selling and event hosting. They also offer an artist-in-residence series; in 2009, photographer and artist Mark Borthwick stayed in the gallery for 10 days, putting up drawings and cooking meals. Other events have included a launch party for The Plant journal, Nicolas Soulier’s Reconquérir Les Rues, and, most recently, works by artist Rosemarie Auberson. The Thumerelles stick to a strict schedule of at least two events per week, and in doing so have established Ofr as a cultural axis for the entire Marais. For more information, visit 0fr System.

Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.

Above: The entrance of 0fr opens onto a single long rectangular table full of architecture and landscape books. Just behind it, a table of curated books–this time dedicated to Le Corbusier and Eileen Gray, which relate to May’s exhibition at the Centre Pompidou.

Above: Marie Thumerelle leans in the doorway just next to an outdoor table where she and a few friends are enjoying an afternoon apéro.

Above: Stacked high in front of the register counter: style magazines ranging from Purple Fashion and Self Service to smaller zine-like publications.

Above: Mobiles (they’re for sale) made from colored tissue paper adorn the window.

Above: Pocket literature, leather bags, and journals.

Above: To accompany a good art book: summer essentials like sneakers and cotton or linen work shirts.

For more places to visit in and around Paris see our Travels with an Editor: Paris series and visit our Paris City Guide.

Location of 0fr in Paris:

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