It is said that the Spaniards do not read. And although it is possible that many of them have not rooted this good habit, the truth is that in Spain many books are consumed every year. Maybe some people read to cover their reading quota and that of others. It is enough to visit the mythical Feria del Libro de Madrid (Madrid Book Fair) to see that books are a valuable element for the soul of Spaniards. You can walk through this fair from May 31 to June 16 in the Parque del Retiro.
What do the books have that attract us and fascinate us? Stories. Other worlds. Other lives. George R. R. Martin, the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, wrote this in A Dance with Dragons: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one”. Books transport us to imaginary worlds that are as real as this one in which we live. With books we learn, we feel, we enjoy and we suffer. We love. With them we grow. Books are part of us and make us the people we are. In each step we take in life we go hand in hand with a book that accompanies us and guides us in our earthly journey.
And for two weeks a year the books visit us at the spectacular Feria del Libro de Madrid. The 2019 edition is hosted as always in the Parque del Retiro from May 31 to June 16. Do not miss this beautiful appointment with literature, a lovely meeting between readers, authors, editors and booksellers, as usual at traditional book fairs celebrated in Spain.
Activities and books for everyone
During the 78th edition of this wonderful fair more than 300 inspiring activities will be held for all types of readers. The children will enjoy a program inspired by the sea in tribute to this year’s country guest of honour, the Dominican Republic. Pirates, corsairs and ship captains will give life to the Jardines del Buen Retiro during these days. You can attend more than 4,000 signing sessions of authors, expert conferences, meetings with professional people of literature, theatres, workshops, tributes to authors, cultural walks through the park and other really interesting appointments.
In addition, during this year the Ibero-American, feminine and environmental themes will have a great weight in the fair. Their organisers affirm that sustainability is one of the axes of the Madrid Book Fair, “an ephemeral event whose impact is maintained beyond the dates of celebration. For that reason, from the organisation one more edition we work to achieve a reduction of the impact to the minimum possible”. Both the bags and the printed material of the fair bear a seal that certifies that they are made with raw materials that come from forests managed in a sustainable method. The objective is to achieve the impact 0. Last year the CO2 emission was compensated by investing in a forestry project in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil. At the same time, work is also being done to ensure the protection of the Jardines del Buen Retiro, a privileged natural space with more than 19,000 trees of 160 species that hosts the fair since 1967.
Visit the Feria del Libro de Madrid!
The Feria del Libro de Madrid can be visited from June 31 to 16 at the Parque del Retiro. You can visit the stands from Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 14:00 and from 18:00 to 21:30, while on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays the stands will remain open from 11:00 to 15:00 and from 17:00 to 21:30. For more information about the signing sessions of authors, schedules, activities and other data of the fair, please visit the official website of the Feria del Libro de Madrid.
The main photo of this article has been provided by José Ramón Suárez González, journalist, jurist and nurse.