21 may 2012

Feria del Libro Madrid (Book Fair), Retiro Park

Starting next Friday and running up until June 10th, we have the opportunity here in Madrid to go to the Feria del Libro (book fair), taking place in Retiro Park, just a 3 minute walk from AIL Madrid!

Madrid Book Fair in Retiro Park
It’s the 71st annual Madrid book fair, and the largest book fair in Spain, concerned with the promotion, distribution and sale of a huge range of literary works. Looking down the length of the paseo Duque Fernán Núñez in the Retiro Park is an impressive sight, with over 300 book stands, it is usually teeming with people passing between stands. This year, Claudio Magris, winner of the 2004 Premio de Asturias de las Letras, is given the honour of inaugurating the event.

The main theme for the event this year is Italian literature (both classical and modern), though you will still be able to find literature of all kinds from Spanish and international writers.
Book Stands in the beautiful Retiro Park
The book stands are usually themed, and well-known writers, such as Mario Vargas Llosa - the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010, who was at the fair last year, can often be found at some stands promoting their latest works and signing books. You can also see artists who can sketch a picture in books, as an alternative to signing them (usually for children’s books).

Aside from book stands, the fair also has activities for children, street performances and food stalls, not forgetting the beautiful gardens of Retiro Park where it takes place. And there’s no need to worry if you want to buy more books than you have the money for, as the organisers of this event really do think of everything – there will be special bank trucks containing cash machines so you can withdraw money!

Mario Vargas Llosa signing books in 2011
In keeping with traditional Spanish spirit, even this book fair isn’t without competition, as there is a contest between publishers to see which publishing house has sold the most!

The very first edition of the Feria del Libro de Madrid took place between 23 and 29 of April 1933, in the Paseo de Recoletos de Madrid. It was such a roaring success that it has been continued every year since, becoming a staple event on the calendar of not just the Madrileños (people from Madrid), but bookworms from all over Spain.

Particularly now in light of the wonderful summer weather we’re enjoying, there’s no excuse not to spend the perfect weekend – and even the time after your Spanish classes – at the fair! 

Entry is of course free and the timetable is as follows: Monday-Friday 11.00-14.00 and 18.00-21.30, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10.30-14.30 and 17.00-21.30, in Retiro Park, Madrid.

* http://grafosfera.blogspot.com.es/2011/06/la-feria-del-libro-en-madrid.html
** http://images.lainformacion.com/cms/el-premio-nobel-mario-vargas-llosa-firma-libros-en-la-feria-del-libro-de-madrid/2011_6_4_PHOTO-82e70eebdb269bd12cf9f0c492033827-1307212474-65.jpg?width=645&height=645&type=flat&id=kEDtUqkFjChzdmoiZtKfI2&time=1307212515&project=lainformacion

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