The recent rainy weather makes me recall our road trip through France. Foremost, because of the only time it rained during our trip. It rained all afternoon and evening long. On this specific day, I didn’t mind it at all. It fit in rather perfectly with our little book-related visit. How lucky was that? To hear the rain fall outside while you’re inside a cozy bookstore? Bécherel was always supposed to be a quick afternoon stop. Especially so because it happens to be halfway between Dinan and Rennes.

Street in Bécherel
Street in Bécherel

As we packed our things away and headed to Rennes, stopping at Bécherel was barely a detour. And here is the biggest reason why we both wanted to visit. This is a village dedicated to books. There are around 600 inhabitants and around 15 bookstores. Also, book-related events fill up the entire calendar. While I was instantly drawn to Bécherel because of all the bookstores, I also fell in love with its architecture. A medieval village full of charming stone houses, some of which are bookstores. What is there not to love?

We arrived to ominous skies but the rain held off for a while. Luckily, long enough for us to walk around the village and explore its winding streets. Because it looked like it would rain any minute, the city was empty. Normally, all the bookstores close around lunchtime and reopen around 2 PM. And we didn’t meet any locals walking around either. Honestly, it felt like a ghost town! While it was nice to have the whole village to ourselves, we were anxious to explore the bookstores.

Bookstore in Bécherel

Finally, we walked into Librairie Les Perséides and scanned the bookshelves. When I find myself in bookstores that sell antique books, I never know whether to go through them or photograph them. Rain come to my aid when it started to fall, making us relax and forget about the time. So I managed to do both. Eventually, I walked out with a 1939 edition of George Sand’s La Petite Fadette, a book that’s on my to-read list. I would’ve taken more with me but our bookcase is already overflowing with books!

Bookstore in Bécherel

Abraxas-Libris was by far the biggest bookstore we explored that day. I think we could have found a book on any subject there! Even though we didn’t find anything at Librairie aux Neiges d’Antan, it was a treat to explore its three floors. I barely put my camera down when I saw all the antique books there! At Librairie Boulavogue we found a few French classics and a Hemingway that’s on both of our to-read lists. Our last stop was Bitume & Papiers, lined with white books from floor to ceiling. I almost didn’t want to leave, there were so many other bookstores. Unfortunately, because of the rainy weather, the other ones didn’t reopen for the afternoon. Another reason to return, I suppose!

Street in Bécherel

And with that, our four-hour-long visit came to an end. Needless to say, I wanted to move to Bécherel and open a bookstore. Don’t get me wrong, I love all bookstores. But bookstores in 17th-century houses are my favorite ones. There’s just something about piles of books in old picturesque buildings. My favorite souvenirs are books and we found plenty of those in Bécherel. If you’re a booklover, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting! I’ll certainly be daydreaming about this visit every time it rains here in Belgium. And revisit the many photos I took inside the charming bookstores of Bécherel.

Bookstore in Bécherel
Rain outside the window of a bookstore
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