First up, the bookshop industry is alive and very healthy in southern Europe. A similar situation was reported on my last sojourn ('Spot'light on Italy) and we visited many bookshops on my recent trip to southern Spain and Portugal. Spanish tourist publications for children were of particular note - with books on major sites translated into different languages with highly engaging formats, illustrations and information for children (and elders :-) to buy as a memento to take home.
|View of Sierra Nevada from La Alhanbra|
add to the oh-so-small suitcase. 📕
|Double page spread of |
La Alcazaba (the fortress)
A visit to the Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal, ranked as one of the top ten bookstores in the world, was an amazing experience in all ways. First up, you can't just walk in - there are too many people. Head next door to buy a ticket, leave your bag in a locker and then queue for entry. Fight your way through the crowds to look at books and.... climb the magical staircase. Famed for inspiring J. K. Rowling in her design of the moving staircase in
But I meander - a picture or two is worth a thousand words. Check out the staircase, stained glass ceiling and the people!
interview to read to find out about this young and successful Portuguese author.
Every bookshop we entered had a children's section, some extremely large and decked out as engaging reading spaces with sunken floors and bright colours. Most had the typical cheaper productions of fairy tales and classics and series fiction targeting primary age students, but there was always more - in English and Portuguese - displayed appealingly and begging to be read. The morbid, macabre and dangerous themes are just as popular with teen readers as they are in Australia.
Dabbles in books, blogs and book depositories (AKA libraries)