Famous Paris bookshop that published 'Ulysses' pleads for help

Famous Paris bookshop that published 'Ulysses' pleads for help
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The famous Paris bookshop that published “Ulysses” is pleading for help amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Associated Press

The shop, Shakespeare and Company, emailed customers last week encouraging them to buy a book, saying it was facing “hard times” due to France's coronavirus lockdown in the spring, according to the news wire.

In response, the store received more than 5,000 online orders in one week, a massive spike from its normal rate of about 100 per week. 

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“We’ve been [down] 80% since the first confinement in March, so at this point we’ve used all our savings,” Sylvia Whitman, daughter of the late proprietor George Whitman, told the AP.

Whitman also set up a Friends of Shakespeare Company fund where supporters can donate, according to AP. 

France, like many of its European neighbors, has been ravaged by the coronavirus. 

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron becomes first major Western leader to go to Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi killing Justice for Josephine Baker means restoring her US nationality Far-right commentator joins presidential race in France MORE announced last Wednesday that the nation would undergo a second lockdown due to the surging number of coronavirus cases. The lockdown will see the closures of nonessential business such as restaurants and bars, and people will only be allowed to leave their houses for essential work or medical reasons. 

However, unlike the first lockdown that took place in the spring, schools will remain open, and workers can travel to their place of work if they cannot work from home. 

In late October, the World Health Organization declared Europe the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic after it reached a record number of confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

“Europe is at the epicenter of this pandemic once again,” WHO European regional director Hans Kluge said in a meeting with European health ministers at the time, according to AP. “At the risk of sounding alarmist, I must express our very real concern.”

Shakespeare and Company was founded by Sylvia Beach in 1919, according to AP, and published James Joyce’s "Ulysses" in full in 1922.

It had been facing financial trouble before the pandemic due to terrorist attacks and protests that kept out-of-town tourists out of the area.