Sales by French independent booksellers rose by 29% year on year between May 12–the day after France began its gradual easing of the lockdown–and July 12, according to the French Booksellers Association (Syndicat de la Librairie Française).

Vincent Montagne, president of the French Publishers Association, “predicted a decline of 15% or less in sales for the year, instead of the 30% flagged at lockdown,” due in part to the €230 million (about $259 million) the government allocated to the sector since the beginning of the crisis.

France actively supports its publishing industry and independent bookstores in particular by limiting price reductions to five percent, a law passed in 1981 to protect independent stores from supermarket chains. In 2013, the government extended the law to prohibit online sellers from offering both free shipping and five percent discounts.