L'Ascenseur Végétal is a website dedicated to photobooks (new & used, rare & sold-out, signed), we designed it to be simple and easy to use (see "navigating the website" below) and we hope you will enjoy our pages.
At L'Ascenseur Végétal, we wish to be a "book-smith" and a "web-smith" type of online bookstore; we want to be available to answer your questions, listen to your suggestions, and hear about your books !
When we launched L'Ascenseur Végétal, we had four main ideas in mind :
- Offer photobooks that are self-published or published by small publishers that are not available through the usual distribution networks, two categories of books that are (were) quite hard to find on the French and "French-speaking" web
- Protect the books perfectly before shipping them to you and make sure they arrive in the condition they were purchased (even the big online bookstores, with pre-formatted enveloppes and packages that - often - are not enough, not fitted, not efficient, and cannot prevent frequent damages to our dear books)
- Describe the books' condition (whether they are used or new) with a maximum of accuracy and details, both in text and images
- Write a few words of presentation for each book, to provide a little bit of context or explanation about each specific work
L'Ascenseur Végétal opened on June 1st, 2013 and the English version was made available in September 2013. Some texts may remain in French on some of the earliest books listed... Thank you for your understanding, and your feedback if you are willing to report an error or an overlook.
L'Ascenseur Végétal's main purpose is to be an online bookstore.
We chose to leave all the books that are sold out from us online, and they are clearly indaicated as ".Sold out." (they cannot be purchased anyway). In this manner, with wish to build, one book at a time, a reference catalogue of each artist's books and each publisher's books.
Some the books listed are available for purchase as "Pre-order"; if you purchase such a book, it will be mailed to you at the official release date, or when we receive the copies (the former date prevailing on the latter).
You will need to create a customer account to be able to order, but you can start by adding the books to your cart, and create your account during the ordering process.
Payment is processed directly on the website using PayPal (by default) or a Credit / Debit Card (click on "Do not have a PayPal account ?" when prompted to connect to PayPal). In some cases, it is also possible to pay by check or bank transfer (BIC/IBAN); but you would have to first contact us, and all fees and costs incurred for trans-national transactions will be charged to the customer.
The "Search" feature available in the upper-right corner of all pages allows you to enter a name, a (partial) title, a publisher, or any keyword. The search is launched on all said fields and the text descriptions of the books.
The search also works on truncated words (e.g. you can type "fried" to find the books by Lee Friedlander).
1. Three main categories - Our books fall under 3 categories, on the left-hand side of the menu bar : "Monographs" (approx. 90 % of the catalogue), "Anthology" (5%) and "Essays" (5%).
2. Themes - Most of the books are also classified by theme (Architecture / Urbanism, Fashion, Nude & Erotica, Photojournalism, Portraiture, Travel / Countries) to assist you in your search.
3. Choose a book - We've added a third way to find books in the menu "Choose a book". The content will likely evolve in the future, but for now we have some subjective categories :
- "Reference books": important and famous photobooks, appearing in "best book of the year" lists or appearing in books such as Parr & Badger's "The Photobook: A History"
- "General Public": mainstream books or books that may appeal to a larger audience
- "Calm & Peaceful": books that are quiet, that help you unwind, with a magical soothing effect :-)
- "Harsh content": books that deal with the hardships of life or contain crude or violent images
In this menu as well, some factual categories: as of Sept. 2013, only "Signed books" and "Non-photography" are available but more to come in the future!
Through Le Blog, L'Ascenseur Végétal will also be a channel to share more personal reflections about some of the books we like best and to talk about events in the photography & photobook world.
La Newsletter (which should be a monthly more or less) will carry the images & stories of our new arrivals and favorite books directly into your mailbox. You can subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of each page.
It would be a great pleasure to meet you, to simply talk about photobooks, to hand-deliver your purchases, to take your latest book for addition to our catalogue, or because you have decided to part with (part of) your photobook collection (books in very good condition, large lots, small lots, or by the unit depending on titles).
L'Ascenseur Végétal is currently based in Bordeaux but we travel to Paris approximately once a month. Do not hesitate to contact us for an appointment.
Thank you for your interest,