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Chapter 2  Where to Find French Resources

2.1  Bookshops and Music Shops in England

Many big bookshops have a section called Foreign Languages where you can find books in different languages. Likewise, many big CD and DVD shops have sections entitled World Music and World Cinema. In most of these shops, the French language has the most extensive collection.


Oxfam Bookshop and Music Shop
You can find some second-hand books, CDs and DVDs in most charity shops, but some Oxfam charity shops specialise in second-hand books and music.


The European Bookshop
The European Bookshop is dedicated to foreign languages. It has a selection of French books, newspapers, CDs, DVDs and games such as Scrabble. It is located at 5 Warwick Street, London W1B  5LU and its website is www.europeanbookshop.com.


Grant and Cutler
Grant and Cutler is another good bookshop dedicated to foreign languages. It has a great selection of French books, and a small selection of newspapers, CDs, DVDs and games such as Scrabble. It is located at 55–57 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7AY and its website is www.grantandcutler.com.


Waterstone’s
You can find this chain of bookshops in most towns. You can find a big branch at 19–23 Oxford Street (near Tottenham Court Road tube station) in London.


WHSmith
WHSmith is a chain of shops known for selling stationary products, and national newspapers and magazines. What many people do not realise is that it also sells some international newspapers and magazines. This is a good place to buy some of the famous French newspapers without having to visit France.

2.2  Bookshops and Music Shops in France

If you go to France, you should consider visiting some bookshops and music shops. I mention the two most famous bookshops and music shops in France, but there are many more around. Do not worry if you cannot go to France regularly, these shops can also be visited online.

If you wish to buy French grammar books and other books for studying, you can find these in the section Le français pour les étrangers (French for foreigners) or Français langue étrangère (French as a Foreign Language), often abbreviated as FLE.


Gibert & Joseph
This is my favourite chain of shops. It has both new and second-hand books, DVDs, and CDs. You can browse the shop online at www.gibertjoseph.com.


Fnac
Fnac is a large chain of shops all over France selling books, music, movies, and computers. You can also book tickets for concerts. A quick word of warning. Do not buy a computer from France or any other foreign country because the layout of the keyboard is different and is going to create problems for you. You can browse and order online at www.fnac.com.

2.3  Internet

Physical shops are not the only places to buy resources useful for learning French. Some Internet-based organisations can also be useful.


Freecycle
The concept of Freecycle is that if you no longer need something, then instead of throwing it into a bin, you can give it, free of charge, to somebody else. In this way, items can be reused instead of being put into landfill sites. Freecycle is organised as a collection of mailing lists, one per town or city. The first Freecycle mailing list was created in May 2003 and Freecycle has now expanded to have thousands of regional mailing lists (to which millions of people are subscribed) around the world. You can find links to regional Freecycle mailing lists on the main Freecycle website: www.freecycle.org.

On a Freecycle mailing list people can post messages to offer items that they no longer need, or post messages to request items. For example, if you need a French dictionary, then you could post a message to ask if anyone in your area has one to spare.

If you do not find a Freecyle group in your town, you might find its offshoot, Freegle, at www.ilovefreegle.org. If you find neither of these groups, then start one.


eBay
Ebay is an online auction and shopping website where you can buy and sell new and second-hand products. Visit www.ebay.co.uk or www.ebay.fr.


Amazon
Amazon was originally an online bookshop, but over the years it has expanded to sell other items, including CDs and DVDs. One of the best features of Amazon is that you can read other customers’ reviews of products (and write your own); these reviews often provide useful information that help you choose a product. Visit www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.fr.


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