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Last Updated: Friday, 1 April, 2005, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
EU Constitution 'bestseller' in France
Books on the EU constitution
Shops are running out of stock

The French government may well be battling against popular apathy in its bid to mobilise a Yes vote for the EU Constitution, but bookshops are seeing something of a run on constitution-related literature.

Even the post office is in on the act, offering a free "advice service", according to French La Chaine Info TV.

A TV report carried the screen caption: "200,000 copies of the Constitution sold in four months".

Bookseller Joelle Boursier, from Tours in western France, says there is "high demand" for one of the manuals.

"We are out of stock right now," she says. "We are going to order some more copies and they should arrive next week. We hope people can wait till then."

Among books on offer is a pocket-sized edition costing 1.5 euros (1). Or there is a 128-page treatise, also selling like hotcakes.

There is a choice between excerpts, or the full text, and if people want to know more there is an annotated version of the Constitution
Bookseller Jeanne-Marie Alluin

"The number of sales is quite unusual for a topic related to political science or even economics," bookseller Jeanne-Marie Alluin says.

"Not many books sell so well," she says.

But the tome in question does not contain the full text, just the first two parts. For more information readers must refer to other works, likewise in great demand.

"There is a choice between excerpts or the full text, and if people want to know more there is an annotated version of the Constitution, or one which goes through the various articles and comments on them for better understanding," Ms Alluin says.

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