REDU, Belgium — Nearly 40 years ago, books saved this village.
The community was shrinking fast. Farming jobs had disappeared and families were moving away from this pastoral patch of French-speaking Belgium.
But in the mid-1980s, a band of booksellers moved into the empty barns and transformed the place into a literary lodestone. The village of about 400 became home to more than two dozen bookstores — more shops than cows, its boosters liked to say — and thousands of tourists thronged its charming streets.