The unmissable visit during your stay on the Ile de Ré !
Certified « living heritage company »in 2007 the Quillet workshop is one of the last ones in France to work in the field of document restoration, old books and bindings. On a surface of 2000 m2, this unique place offers a document restoration workshop, but also a large ancient library dedicated to books, comic books with a space entirely dedicated to posters and other graphic documents.
And to warm up during winter, or to cool down during summer, the literary café welcomes the visitors in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
The history of the place
Lionel Quillet created the company in 1987. Present at first during exhibitions and markets, he came back to his home land, Ile de Ré, in 1989, on the occasion of the the bridge opening.
He established his first 17 m2 bookshop in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, and the workshop in Loix.
In the course of restoration and binding work, the workshop obtained its first references on a national level. The activity grew and the team of craftsmen expanded. In 2008, the activities were all gathered on a unique site, in the trading estate in Loix. This unity of place enabled the bookshop to be on the rise. It spread in 2019 with a new gallery of illustrations dedicated to comics and in 2021, with an exhibition room for the posters and graphic documents, as well as a literary café. In order to share this passion every day of the year, his son Olivier, quickly joined by Juliette Merlaud and Pierre-Antoine Galmiche, have allowed the library to continue its development, with a breath of youth, dynamism and creativity.
On a surface of 400m2, the workshop takes by surprise with its diversity of publications and documents. Discover it with family or with friends: it offers an exceptional collection of over 100,000 old and second hand books, from the 16th century to today. During this discovery, we can buy the rarest original edition from the 18th century but also a mystery novel for 4 euros. History, marine, travel, literature, youth, science, nature, esotericism, cooking, fine arts, eroticism, sports… The books are carefully filed by theme and room, including one specifically dedicated to the Ile de Ré and to regionalism.
For all ages, amateurs and collectors, the bookshop also has a large choice among 30 000 comics and children’s books, with original editions, full set collections, graphic novels and mangas… An abondance of books accessible to everyone!
The posters area
This area in the bookshop displays many old / antique and modern posters, on very varied themes, as well as geographic maps, marine maps, engravings, paintings--with a document restoration and packaging service carried out by the workshop.
Among the unmissable works, there are: a magnificent collection of original advert posters from the 19th century, of cinema posters from the 50s to today, nautical charts drawn by the artist Marine Le Breton, engravings of natural history by Buffon and many other themes, to be discovered on site!
An exceptional collection of more than 100,000 books, 30,000 comics
Old and modern posters, marina maps/ nautical charts, engravings, paintings…
The literary café
To put a finishing touch to the discovery, the literary café welcomes visitors in a warm atmosphere, around a coffee from a local coffee supplier, a hot chocolate for those with a sweet tooth, a handmade fruit juice or a local beer, served with homemade cakes and biscuits.
Open in the day but also during the evenings, for cultural meetings, the literary café is an original and uncommon spot to take time to enjoy the bookshop, to enjoy a gourmet break after a wonder around the marsh or to simply enjoy a nice moment with friends.
For several years, the Quillet bookshop has expanded its activity by banking on cultural events all year round: conferences, book signings, authors’ promotions, musical and drama readings, concerts, exhibitions…
A meeting place that’s lively all year round and that offers new experiences.
Three exhibition-sale events per year also give its tempo to the bookshop’s poster room…. Shedding a light on works by mapmakers, regional painters, poster or comic strips illustrators. A diversity of projects, in relation with heritage and manual expertise, for an exceptional site!
From April to September: Monday to Sunday
From October to March: Monday to Saturday
An absolute national reference regarding the preservation, restoration and binding of old documents, the Quillet workshop stands out for its traditional expertise carried out daily by forty professionals, distributed in different trades: restoration of books and graphic documents, binding, gilding.
Between patience and meticulousness, expert hands bring back to life books, old maps, engravings and documents from heritage collections, museums, libraries or archives.
For private requests, the workshop makes quotes from Monday to Friday.
Workshop guided tours: discovering professional expertise!
Twice a week, the workshop opens its doors to everyone. In groups of 15 people maximum, guided tours allow us to follow the documents, in all the restoration and preservation steps. It is an opportunity to discover the professionals’ work and their different skills.
These visits allow a full tour of the workshop and to see, for example, the restoration process of a parchment from the 13th century or a binding dated from the 18th century.
Length: 50 minutes
Price: €5 per person