French Language Blog

Quels sont vos livres préférés? Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Vocabulary

Aimez-vous lire, chers lecteurs/chères lectrices? Si vous répondez “oui,” quels sont vos livres préférés?

I love to read. Some books have changed my life and some have saved my life. They’ve transformed the way I view the world and the people around me, have taught me how to empathize, and have helped guide me through rough patches in my life.

And, of course, a great many of these books that I have fallen in love with were originally written in French. I’ll tell you more about my favorite French-language books below. But, first, here’s a list of vocabulary about books and reading, which will prove useful if you’re a bibliophile:

un roman — a novel

Un livre de poche — This means, largely, a paperback novel. This is also a large French imprint of La librarie générale française that publishes paperbacks.

Une histoire vraie/vécue — non-fiction. In France, it’s more common to hear “une histoire vraie.”

Un bouquin — This is the familiar way of saying “book.” You’ll hear this all the time.

Les bouquinistes — These are the antique and used booksellers set up all along the Seine in Paris. Don’t miss checking these out.

Une librairie — A bookstore. This can be confusing for English speakers.

Une bibliothèque — A library

Un dictionnaire – A dictionary

Une nouvelle — A short story

Un conte — A tale. For example, un conte de fées would be a fairy tale, also known as un conte merveilleux.

La poesie — Poetry.

Les romans policiers — Mystery novels. This would be an example of a genre, or type of book, a familiar word to English speakers because it has been adopted into English.

Un/une auteur(e) — An author

La littérature étrangère —Foreign literature

Écrire/rédiger — To write. While écrire is a more familiar verb, rédiger is the correct verb to use in the case of writing a longer work, such as a book. Écrire signifies “the act of writing,” while rédiger means writing a longer, meaningful and coherent text.

Éditer — To edit

Imprimer — To print

Publier — To publish

Take these vocabulary words and try to create a paragraph of French text, such as the one below:

Quand j’ai habité sur Paris, j’allais souvent chez les bouquinistes pour acheter des livres de poche. J’aime plus acheter des bouquins d’occasion que d’aller en acheter chez la librairie. J’aime beaucoup de genres littéraires, surtout la poesie et les romans policiers. Alors, je vous donne mes titres préférés: La jalousie par Alain Robbe-Grillet, L’Enfant de sable par Tahar Ben Jelloun, Madame Bovary de Flaubert, Le Petit prince de Antoine de Saint Exupery, et L’Amant de Marguerite Duras. Quels sont vos livres préférés?






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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!