In the movie Good bye, Lenin! (2003), an elderly woman, a convinced communist, comes out of a coma in the former East Germany and, not to startle her, her son conjures up with neighbors and friends to make her believe that he continues to live in the Soviet system.
Something like this happened yesterday with the call
Summer St. George. The bookstores had installed stalls at the entrance of their stores, with the Catalan flag, some roses and a 10% discount advertisement. The buses had advertising that encouraged people to enjoy the Day of the book. The authors, few, made signatures in deferred, sat down to stamp their name in books that later would be sold to the people, with more impersonal dedications. The televisions moved some mobile units to the only post on the Passeig de Gràcia, that of the Casa del Libro … “Let’s enjoy Sant Jordi!”, The book sector seemed to shout impostately at us, which has suffered the onslaught of the pandemic. But actually…
Bookstores registered a slight increase in sales, with respect to a normal Thursday, which ranges between 10% and triple the usual (even in these cases, which occur especially in small bookstores, the figure does not represent a quarter of what is usually sold in the Sant Jordi true). “It was like a good Saturday,” synthesized someone from the guild. There were no crowds (the sanitary situation does not authorize them either) and the activity of the city seemed to follow its normal course, within what the virus allows.
If I had to make a list of the best sellers, I would head it to
M’explico (The Bell) of Carles Puigdemont, according to the booksellers consulted by this newspaper, who, however, point out that this title was released just yesterday on the market “and accumulates in one day all the reservations made during the previous weeks.” Puigdemont can contemplate with satisfaction from Belgium his master play in bookstores.
Meanwhile, in Switzerland … the novelist Joël Dicker see how The riddle of room 622 (Alfaguara / La Campana), a crazy mystery starring himself as a researcher, was the novel with the most buyers. Both would share a supposed podium of winners with Rafel Nadal
(The Ritz Spy) and Woody Allen, with its impressive memories, suitable at the same time for moviegoers and lovers of the pink shell. If we were in a real Sant Jordi, would all of them have coincided in the feast of The vanguard? We will never know…
There were 90 bookstores with stops in the city of Barcelona, while in Tarragona or Girona the situation was closer to normal. The Casa del Libro was one of the busiest, with its capacity of 177 people crowded at some peak times of the day, which caused small queues at the door. There was also a fluid influx of people in Ona, Laie, La Central … In Ona, Sílvia and Laura, sisters, they went with Teo, 3 years old: “It tastes bad not to buy anything for Sant Jordi, you have to support the bookstores “They said, with the bag full: the latest from Julià Guillamon (The cuques), Woody Allen, la Letter to a stranger Stefan Zweig and What color is a kiss? by Rocío Bonilla.
Displaced signatures were constant: authors who came to a bookstore, sat alone, signed a specific number of books with not very committed dedications, got up, left, and people could buy their dedicated copy. Zero contact. We saw how Rafael Tarradas Bultó did it (The heir), Pilar Rahola, Care Santos (I will follow in your footsteps), Laia Aguilar (Rain of stars), Rafel Nadal (who did not avoid the melee with the reader) … and copies that had been left in previous days, as a gift, authors like Enric Calpena, Gemma Ruiz or Eva Baltasar.
Màrius Serra stopped by several bookstores to sign books alone, before going to a book club in Riudarenes about
Playing with life.
The other book that I dedicated was
The novel of Sant Jordi,
“Where an exquisite publisher kills bestselling novelists who strike him as evil, today this evil Moriarty has won, he is very much against overcrowding.”
In Ona, Jordi Cuixart, the president of Òmnium, appeared mid-morning, greeted warmly by the public. Very happy, as if he were not in prison, he was explaining the support that his entity “has always given to the world of books, and to bookstores, because we know that without them there is no culture.” While he was being shown the facilities for the first time, he stated that “then we will go for a walk and buy some books.”
In El Corte Inglés and Fnac there was not a much larger influx of public than in normal days. In the corridors of the Diagonal metro, the second-hand Llibres Solidaris stall suffered a similar phenomenon, according to the seller, Juan: “Before, many people came to buy the book that they saw newest looking to give to someone, but today we have not had that audience ”.
A walk with Robert Walser
Those who longed for the presence of great international writers in Barcelona had a consolation yesterday in Robert Walser’s ride, interactive street theater show directed by Marc Caellas in which the actor Esteban Feune de Colombi, in the role of the Swiss writer (1878-1956), author of The walk, He did that, a deep walk, with a forcibly small group of spectators who accompanied him on a route through the Raval and Poble-Sec and learned, from his hand (or his umbrella), how to observe things about his city that otherwise they would have gone unnoticed.
The respectful, lame and educated Walser of the work sometimes speaks with fragments of the writer’s texts, such as when he goes to the camera of a CaixaBanc cashier extolling his ability to save, or when he extols the beauty of a girl who I read a book about Cliff on a terrace, but others improvises and gives rise to dialogues that the best writer could not have achieved: gossaires From close to Sant Pau del Camp they explain that they do not go to the pipí-can because it looks like a sauna and that the city council has answered them “that when the recently planted tree is leafy it will give shade”. “That’s a tautology,” says Walser. Although Sant Jordi’s role was special (he even signed books) The walk will meet again at the Clot next Monday and Tuesday (registration compulsory for health reasons at [email protected]).
The teletypes tell that Book Day was also celebrated yesterday in some places in Madrid, Zaragoza, Valladolid and Cantabria, in a rather testimonial way.
Good bye, St. George!