At the Bookshop 1822 and 2016

Retrieved from our old Bookride site – this not unamusing extract from an 1820s English/ French conversation manual.  It gives an interesting insight into a vanished world. It is followed by our modern version where the translation was slightly robotic, so apologies for that…

Note the concern with the appearance and quality of the books, the perennial problems with trying to get the binder to do what the bookseller and customer wants, and on time. The eagerness of the collector to be the first to be offered fresh stock from the shop has changed very little. Still with us are the problems of delay in postal sytems…  Also it is interesting that in the early nineteenth century women bookbuyers were thought likely to be attracted to ‘Large Paper Copies’ and vellum bound books. The customer’s knowledge of book lore and binding styles has changed somewhat.

Well ! you are a man of your word, as usual: and the books that you were to send me, when shall I have them?
Eh bien ! vous etes un homme de parole, comme a l’ordinaire: et ces livres que vous deviez m’emvoyer, quand viendront-ils?
You are under great obligations to your binder; he often furnishes you with an excuse.
Vous avez un relieur a qui vous avez de grardes obligations , car il vous sert souvent de manteau.
I protest that I sent them to him the same day you came to buy them.
Je vous proteste que je les ai fait porter chez lui le meme jour que vous etes venu les acheter.

 Well, I am willing to believe you; but, tell me, have you received anything new?

Allons, je veux bien vous croire; mais, dites-mio , avez-vous recu des nouveautes?
None since I had the honour of seeing you; but we have received within these few days the bill of lading of several chests which we expect every hour.
Aucune, depuis que j’ai eul’honneur de vous voir ; mais nous avons recu ces jours-ci le connoissement de plusieurs caisses que nous attendons incessamment.
Do not fail to preserve me a copy of every thing you meet with that is interesting.
N’oubliez pas de me reserver un exemplaire de tout ce qui pourra s’y trouver d’interessant.
Have you Moliere in a small size?
Avez-vous Moliere en petit format?
We have the stereotype edition, on four different kinds of paper.
Nous avons l’edition stereotype, sur quatre differens papiers.
As it is a commission that a lady of my acquaintance has given me, I think I had better take the large vellum paper.
Comme c’est une commission don’t une dame de ma connoissance m’a charge, je crois que je ferai bien de prendre le grand papier velin.
Are all your books to be found online?
Sont tous vos livres pour être trouvé en ligne?
I have seen many copies of this book at Amazon some priced as low as 1p
J’ai vu de nombreux exemplaires de ce livre sur Amazon certains prix aussi bas que 1p
The Harrington brothers have a fabulous signed copy of this book in a magnificent binding. Sadly their price is beyond my means.
Les frères Harrington  ont une fabuleuse copie signée de ce livre dans une magnifique reliure. Malheureusement leur prix est au-dessus de mes moyens.
Please email if you see any books about hippies, beatniks, thieves or punks.
Veuillez nous contacter par e-mail si vous voyez des livres de hippies, beatniks, des voleurs ou punks.
He has closed his bookshop and now sells online from his home.
Il a fermé sa librairie et vend maintenant en ligne à partir de son domicile.
We do not sell the Kindle machine. I am sorry to say that we regard it with disfavour
Nous ne vendons pas le Kindle machine. Je suis désolé de dire que nous le considérons avec défaveur.
My price is fair. You can check the current price at ABE on your iPhone. 
Mon prix est juste. Vous pouvez vérifier le prix actuel à l’ABE sur votre iPad.
That price is from an American web company called Custodial  Arts. I am sorry to inform you that their prices are utterly ridiculous and they are lunatics.
C’est le prix d’un Américain société web appelé Custodial Arts, je suis désolé de dire que leurs prix sont tout à fait ridicule et ils sont fous.
Thank you. I do not require the Print on Demand edition. They are an abomination. 
Merci. Je ne nécessitent pas un POD edition. Je considère ces livres comme une abomination.

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