The first edition of Llibrestiu, to which any comparison with a summer Sant Jordi is more than hateful, has started, at least in Barcelona, very timidly and with many factors against it. This summer celebration of the bookstores to encourage the sale of the books that we will put in the suitcase has been organized with very little time, emboldened publishers and booksellers for the success of the past Sant Jordi, the spring, the real one. Little has been publicized.
Much has been improvised. And in addition, the pandemic has also put a lot of obstacles. But even so, the booksellers appreciated this Thursday a proposal to which they see a lot of potential, especially if you think with foresight by taking books and activities to the street in a summer afternoon-evening schedule.
Although the original idea of the Gremi de Llibreters was for bookstores to place stalls on the street, very few have supported the proposal. In the Eixample only Jaimes, who focused his activities on the signing of authors such as Jenn Díaz, Xavier Bosch, Pau Arenós, Rosa Ribas, Milena Busquets and Laia Fàbregas, set tables on the sidewalk to the surprise of passersby.
As the good things stand out, most of the bookstores have appreciated a greater influx, since the morning. This is the case of Finestres, which offered the presentation of ‘Nam’, by Mark Baker, the definitive history of the Vietnam War, with the attraction of its charming open backyard, like the rest of the establishment, until 10 at night . Another beautiful back garden, La Central de Mallorca, was home to the Greek writer Theodor Kallifatides, undoubtedly the star of the day.
To the bookseller Èric del Arco de DocumentaThe idea seems good to him, although he considers that in this start all the juice has not been extracted. And that he had no reason to complain, the lively LGTBI tête à tête between Guillem Clua and Bob Pop that the bookstore offered left out 50% of those registered as public.
Del Arco is bustling with ideas for a Llibrestiu 2022: “This makes perfect sense if it is done on the street, cutting off traffic, and without masks. With readings of all kinds or creating a route through the different libraries. The further away from the Sant Jordi model, the better ”.
At the doors of that bookstore, the president of the Gremi de Editors, Patrici Tixis, congratulated himself convinced that the party has come to stay. Where they have no doubt that Llibrestiu has worked is in Catalan bookstores outside of Barcelona: in Girona it has been a success and in Vic,