Buenos Aires Invites You to Read in the Streets

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Noche de las Librarias

Everyone knows that Buenos Aires is a good—no, great, book town—and has some 350 bookstore, or one for every 6,000 residents. What’s even better is that for one night a year the city hosts an annual Noche de las Librerias—Bookstore Night. Corrientes Avenue in the center of town is closed down for six hours, chairs and sofas are brought out into the street and people are encouraged to browse, buy, lounge and read. US radio reporter Bryan Byrnes was there this year and filed a report for National Public Radio.

What’s interesting is how the e-book debate is reflected in the story. Octavio Coolez, who is described as owning an e-bookstore, was giving a talk called “The Future of Books is Now.” He’s quoted as saying: “My colleagues in the publishing industry here think this is just another crisis. But it’s not another crisis. It is probably the last crisis because books, traditional books will have to share their place with new digital content.” Then when Byrnes goes into the street and asks if anyone knows what a Kindle is, the question is lost in translation.

LISTEN: To Byrnes report from Buenos Aires.

PLAN: A special bookstore tour of Buenos Aires on Your next visit to the city

(Image of last year’s festivities courtesy of “Melinda en la ciudad”)

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.