Les mots à la bouche is a Parisian bookshop specialised in LGBTQ+ content that was founded in 1980 by Jean-Pierre Meyer-Genton. Since its creation in the 1980s it has become a cultural landmark for the French LGBTQ+ community.
Over the last 40 years, the bookshop has organised hundreds of literary events and exhibitions. Its team has recommended, loved, and cherished thousands of books. During the first lockdown in March 2020 the bookshop was obliged to move from the Marais, the historical LGBTQ+ quarters in Paris, to the 11th arrondissement.
Over 40 years of history and a future that we can build together!
Since then, despite the unprecedented situation, and to our great joy, the bookshop remained open and our team has continued to welcome, advise, and share its love for books and lgbtq+ art with you.
To celebrate its 41 years, the bookshop is embarking on a new adventure. And we’ll need your help!
Walter Paluch, who has been the owner and manager of Les Mots à la Bouche for 25 years, would now like to pass it on to his team of employees as a cooperative in which he will remain an associate!
The decision of creating a cooperative was reached by mutual agreement and predates our relocation. This choice has enabled the process to be a happy and smooth experience and was born out of a desire for a sustainable business model that places its employees at its centre.
From left to right : Jimmy, Céline, Nicolas, Eva, Kamel et Walter
- Walter Paluch, before inheriting the bookshop, Walter was a French teacher. He took his new job to heart and the last 25 years have flown by. But, despite this, he intends on becoming an external partner in the cooperative.
- Céline Germann spent 20 years working in the bookshop before dedicating herself to another passion: farming! She continues to devour books, especially during harvest time. She will also be an external partner.
- Kamel Gasmi has been working at Les Mots à la Bouche for over 15 years. He’s particularly fond of American literature and crime novels. He works tirelessly to find new material for the fanzine and magazine section of the bookshop.
- Nicolas Wanstok has also been part of the bookshop’s team for 15 years. He’s passionate about essays and literature as well as being an editor of erotic gay comics.
- Jimmy Robert-Teyssier has been part of the team for 3 years. He loves poetry, has a deep literary knowledge and specialises in Mathieu Riboulet’s work. He is also an artist within the Collectif Conversations. As our only part time employee, you can find him at the bookshop on weekends.
- Eva Sinanian was the last recruit before our relocation. They worked in editing for ten years and are a science fiction enthusiast as well as specialised in queer and feminist essays. They manage our social network presence.
All six of us form the cooperative that will operate the bookshop. This initiative was built on a mutual agreement and in accordance with Walter’s whish to pass on the bookshop’s economic, cultural and symbolic legacy.
It has been voted that Eva and Nicolas will act as first co-managers with Walter’s help until the end of the initial transition period. Later, the decisions will be taken by the team as a whole. One person will equal one vote in the decision-making process.
As it stands, all our savings (despite our best efforts!) are not enough for us to safely take over the bookshop. We need a helping hand : yours !
Our goal is to buy the bookshop. That means that we need to buy the business, the stock and the furniture that allows us to offer over 12 000 publications!
In this transaction, the books alone are estimated at 150 000 euros. Added to that sum is the debt caused by the loan we took to purchase the business and that we will be paying back until 2027.
With your help, important loans of the Réseau SCOP and of the NEF, we hope to purchase the stock, while building, thanks to our economic capital, a stronger working capitol that will allow us to fend off all eventual problems. After all, the last two years have taught us that anything is possible.
That’s why, with your help, we are aiming to raise 40 000 euros ! This will contribute 35% to our economic capitol.
If we exceed this amount, we will be delighted to renew our IT infrastructure and maybe, we might even be able to update our website!
These are some examples of how the money will be invested :
5.000 euros : You help us buy the aisle of “LGBTQ+ essays”
10.000 euros : With this amount we can buy the LGBTQ+ essays and our poetry aisle
20.000 euros : Now we can buy our crime fiction, SF, and Fantasy aisle too
30.000 euros : We can add our fanzine aisle
40.000 euros : We can buy our LGBTQ+ photography books that we keep downstairs
+ 40.000 euros : Everything is possible !