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Life & Arts

Austin Bookstore Tries to Snag Copies of 'Charlie Hebdo'

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Michael Femia/Flickr

Following an attack last week by Islamic extremists on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the publication announced today that it would print five million copies of its latest issue.

It's out today, and an Austin independent bookstore is hustling to stock copies.

BookPeople on North Lamar Boulevard has talked with distributors – one in France, the other in Canada – that normally have copies of the magazine. But thus far they've come up with nothing, said BookPeople CEO Steve Bercu.

"We're not going to have any today, for sure," he said. "And the question is whether we can get any or not. We're certainly making any effort we can."

Bercu said about a dozen customers have already placed orders for the magazine, which the bookstore doesn't normally stock among other French magazines regularly for sale. When they've had Charlie Hebdo on shelves in the past, Bercu said, "it hadn't been that big of a seller."

The latest issue, put out by survivors of last week's shooting that killed 12 people, features a cover with a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed. He's frowning, a tear in his eye, and holding a sign that reads, "Je Suis Charlie," which means in English "I am Charlie," a slogan of solidarity repeated by supporters during the week since the deadly attack.

Bercu at BookPeople said he's going to keep trying to get the latest issue of the magazine. At this point, he said, any number of copies will do.

"We're not going to get thousands, but I'd like to get around 100 copies if possible," he said. "But we would take whatever we can get."

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