Lagardère subsidiary Hachette Livre is taking over French publisher Bragelonne and its subsidiary Bragelonne Games for an undisclosed sum, the Bookseller reported. It will be part of Hachette's illustrated book division, which is run by Isabelle Magnac.
Bragelonne was founded in 2000 and became France's "top imaginative literature publisher in France in less than 10 years," said Hachette, which took a 43% stake in the company in 2019.
Bragelonne's catalogue includes 4,000 titles and 600 authors. The Bookseller noted that last April, the publisher "became embroiled in the French book publishing sector's first MeToo scandal, when the online news website Mediapart reported that the publisher's co-founder and editorial director Stéphane Marsan had been accused by some 20 women of sexual gestures or remarks. He left the company in the summer and was succeeded by Bernard Chaussegros as chairman and Claire Renault Deslandes as publishing director."
Canadian bookseller Massy Books in Vancouver, B.C., has become the first bookstore in the province to be certified as a living wage employer by Living Wage for Families B.C., CBC News reported. The Indigenous-owned bookstore, dedicated to spotlighting underrepresented and local voices in B.C., is owned and operated by Patrica Massy, who is of mixed Cree, Métis and English descent.
Massy said she was inspired by an Edmonton, Alb., bookshop that had done the same: "A couple of weeks ago, we saw that our friends over at Glass Bookshop announced that they became a living wage employer. So after doing a little research... I decided to make the decision to commit to it, which also means committing to yearly increases [in employee wages] as well." She added that more than half of the bookstore's staff had already been making a living wage so she decided to commit to it fully.
The living wage for Metro Vancouver in 2021 is C$20.52 (about US$16.35) per hour, according to the organization--higher than B.C.'s minimum wage of C$15.20 (about US$12.10) per hour, CBC News wrote.
"We are taking the health and wellness of our staff seriously," Massy observed. "We don't want to keep our staff imprisoned on minimum wage. We want people to thrive and prosper in the city."
The Samir Mansour bookshop in Gaza City, which was destroyed by Israeli air strikes last year, has been rebuilt, restocked and will reopen February 12 in a new space. The Guardian reported that the shop's destruction "prompted a campaign that raised $250,000 to help rebuild it, plus donations of 150,000 books.... Mansour is now preparing to reopen as both a bookshop and library, in a new location less than 100 meters from the original site."
The new building, which cost $340,000, needed to be gutted and remodeled, and Mansour spent $70,000 of his personal savings building wooden shelves, tiling and installing electrical supplies. The Guardian noted that all funds generated by the campaign, which was "launched by human rights lawyers Mahvish Rukhsana and Clive Stafford Smith, have gone towards the project, with the blockade imposed on Gaza sending costs spiraling."
"I was so happy when I saw the first shipment had arrived.... I felt like a reborn phoenix," said Mansour. "I did not expect all this support. But it was something beyond imagination and something more than wonderful.... I think the community will support the idea of the new bookstore, especially as it is close to the same place that was destroyed. We are in a very bad economic situation. So we are hoping for the best and we will see what happens in the future." --Robert Gray