La Lanterne: the art of the book trade

At La Lanterne bookstore you can of course buy books, but also creative games, stationery and drink your coffee or discover the artworks of local artists.

Activities that go very well with the world of books. Here it is considered an ideal tool for meeting and exchange. Because this passion business is also a risky business that is sometimes difficult to make a profit from. Given the narrow margins with publishers, the bookstore’s profitability is low, “so it’s preferable to diversify,” says founder Charlotte Weinmann.

The 80 m2 building of this former optical shop now offers more than 4,800 books and 400 games, puzzles, cards and stationery. There is a large youth section, a feminist section, literature, thrillers, humanities or even comics, manga, nature and permaculture…


Originally from a village near Grenoble, Charlotte Weinmann studied as a child. “I loved being surrounded by books and having access to all that knowledge,” she recalls. Among the authors he enjoys reading, he mentions David Vann, Philip Pullman and René Barjavelin. In 2012, after preparatory classes on hypogamy and hagne, he entered the DUT on book trade in Bordeaux. “I studied a lot and thought about where to go. I liked to share what I read with my friends. This is how I wanted to open my bookstore,” he explains. Ten years of experience at the Comptines in Bordeaux, the Bal des Ardents in Lyon, and then the Cultura in Paris would enable him to learn the workings of the trade. “These years confirmed my choice and taught me a lot,” he recalls, admitting that he lost his shyness as soon as he crossed the threshold of the bookstore.


It was not by chance that he chose Charlotte Landes, who was cautious but determined. As a child, he spent his holidays there, he loved nature and villages. The couple moved to Solferino three years ago when her husband took advantage of a business opportunity in Bordeaux. Looking for a place, he discovered Morcenx-la-Nouvelle during the Wednesday market. “I liked the atmosphere of the market with people immediately gathering in the village square. And Morcenx is only an hour away from Bordeaux and Bayonne. »

Antoinette Hontang, author from Mimizan, dedicated to La Lanterne © Bernard Dugros


After a market study, he turns to the Landes Chamber of Commerce and Industry for support and grants a loan backed by private contributions. The entrepreneur receives 30,000 euros in regional subsidies shared between the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Culture Agency, the regional council and the regional authority for cultural affairs (Drac). After the closure of its Finsa plant in Morcenx, which produces wood panels, it benefits from an envelope worth around €7,000 thanks to the creation aid scheme provided for under the revitalization agreement. . In the end, he won 5,000 euros in social media crowdfunding.


After a year and a half of hard work, with the support of her family, 33-year-old Charlotte Weinmann welcomes her readers to a place where she wants to be simple, bright and uncluttered, where “everyone should feel good”.

The challenge now is to know how to retain readers and maintain that social connection after the first encouraging months. “What customers come for is above all the bookseller’s advice and a moment of good humor and discussion. So, Charlotte reads a lot, writes her favorites, organizes autograph sessions and exhibitions. “I work with the media library for meetings. I hope we will have the opportunity to bring Morcenais authors like Claire Garralon or Christophe Pernaudet. I would also like to set up creative workshops for adults or schools. For now, with a department of beautiful books and gift boxes for Christmas, the bookseller hopes that many readers will find themselves at La Lanterne, whose name offers a path to knowledge that lights up the world.

20 places Aristide-Briand – Morcenx-la-Nouvelle

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