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60 ª Fair of Old and Modern Book

From September 16 to October 2, books take Passeig de Gracia. The Fair celebrates its 60th edition with the participation of 37 libraries and a special program of events.

Category: Cultura | 16 September, 2011
Illustration: Anna Solsona

Whether or not you’re a collector, walking around the Fair of Old and Modern Book of Barcelona is always a highly recommended experience. Sniffing through the mountains and mountains of books you can find pocket detective stories of the 50 together with recipe books illustrated by Benedictine nuns, XIV century facsimiles being worth thousands of euros or architecture books with careful images. There is everything for everyone.

The “Fair of Book 2011 “, organized by the Guild of Booksellers of Catalonia, is traditionally the event that marks the beginning of the school year in Passeig de Gracia. Faith-ful to the appointment, all Septembers libraries take the sidewalks from Consell de Cent to Gran Via. This year, the Fair celebrates its 60th edition with a special program of events and activities.

Curious and excited, we have gone for a walk around there to, as well as delving into the vast supply, chat with some of the booksellers who have been participating longer in the Fairone of Madrid and one of Barcelona – in order to get a broader idea of the impact of the Fair.

José Javier, of  Librería Anticuaria García Prieto, Alcalá Street, Madrid (house founded in 1978), present the last 10 years at the Barcelona Fair, says that the Fair of Book is perhaps a little more visited, given the dates and tourists flowing in Passeig de Gracia, one of the best streets in Europe. He assures that “the crisis is a good time to buy books, or to get certain titles not available in the past, since, due to the recession, there are private libraries getting rid of them who otherwise would not be possible to find “.

Between hundreds of books points out proud theProverbsof Seneca, 1555. He also highlights an issue of the Royal Press of 10 volumes of “Architecture” by Vitruvius and two volumes with the “Chronicles of Benito Montfort” of Printing Valenciana, “the best printed” collection. He insists that “at the Fair you can find everything, and for every pockets,” for example, the very popular Tales of Calleja.

Joan Serra, of Llibre Vell Immaculada de Regàs (Gleva street, 42-44, Barcelona), present at the Fair since fourteen years ago, comments that “the book market, as other sectors, suffers the crisis; nevertheless the Fair gives a little joy to industry: the stock exchange is down, the floors are down, however the books of a certain quality does not have suffered or have fallen slightly and are still a great investment.”

It is only the third day and has already sold two of the four most precious specimens presented this year: the first edition of “The Canigó” by Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, “with the curiosity that it was dedicated with love to Thos i Codina, writer of the late nineteenth century, very important in the Renaissance of Catalonia” and “The Constitution of Valencia , 1677.

At the incunabula section we can browse an edition of 1492 on religious customs, or the “Decreto de Nueva Plantaof Felipe V, original period incunabulum dated January 16, 1716. Anyway, with six euros you can find everything, from “The Thousand and One Nights” to the works of Lenin and” Els soldadets de plom” by Joan Amades.

In addition to the tour of the booths, we enjoyed an exhibit that brings together all the posters of past editions by artists like Brossa and Miró among others, and lots of photos and documentation of these 60 years. There is also a collection point of books that you no longer use and which go on sale immediately between one and 10 euros for the project “Schools for Africa” of  Unicef.

Before coming to home, we bought a couple of books, at prices more than affordable; we have enjoyed a very full Friday evening, relaxed and very interesting; ¿ are you going to lose it?.

Fair of Old and Modern Book
From September 16 to October 2
Passeig de Gracia (from Concell Cent to Gran Via)
Monday to Saturday: 10.00 to 21.00h
Sunday: 11.00 to 21.00h

Photo: Mauricio Salinas

Category: Cultura | 16 September, 2011
Illustration: Anna Solsona
Tags:  2011, barcelona, Calleja, Fira del llibre, Gremi de llibreters de Barcelona, Librería anticuaria García Prieto, Montfort, Mossèn Cinto, passeig de gracia, Séneca, Thos i Codina, Unicef, Verdaguer, Vitruvio,

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