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Sant Jordi will have more spaces, more stands and more author signings

Sant Jordi will have more spaces, more stands and more author signings

The fact that the holiday falls on a Sunday will surely facilitate the movements throughout the country, an element that the Cambra wants to highlight.

The Cambra del Llibre de Catalunya, an institution that brings together the guilds and associations of publishers, booksellers, distributors, and graphic communication of Catalonia, announces that the next Book Day will be bigger and makes an invitation to enjoy it throughout the country on Sant Jordi.

If a few weeks ago the Cambra stated that the implementation of a professional model made foresee a Sant Jordi that equaled the pre-pandemic days both in citizen participation and promotion of reading, now it can explain that, in terms of spaces and a number of stops, the forecasts of increase have been fulfilled -and exceeded-, for example in Barcelona. Let’s take a look at some data:

Of the increase in spaces:

Moving from Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia to Carrer Gran de Gràcia, with an almost doubled space: more space, more amplitude, and the creation of an axis that crosses the city.
Recovery of the Ramblas: 278 meters of bookstalls, from Canaletes to Ferran, and maintenance of the Plaça Reial and Passeig de Lluís Companys, making Ciutat Vella once again a nerve center of the city.

Increased supply:

More stops, with an increase of 11.5%: from 287 in 2022.
More length, with an increase of more than 17%: from 802 meters in 2022 to 3,294 meters in 2023.
More author signatures: with an increase of 25 %, from 170 stops with authors in 2022 to 213 stops in 2023.

The fact that the festival falls on a Sunday will surely facilitate movements throughout the country, an element that the Cambra wants to highlight since the festival is celebrated in absolutely all the municipalities of Catalonia. In this line, it had been anticipated that the Gremi de Llibreters de Catalunya would send to the municipal entities a document of recommendations and good practices for the celebration of the festival and stresses the importance of valuing the profession of bookseller and provide spaces and measures that dignify it and, in turn, represent an advance in the enjoyment and safety of the day.

In this sense, the document recommends, according to the reality of each population:

The differentiation between entities, which celebrate Sant Jordi, and bookstores, which celebrate Book Day, or a spatial configuration that allows sequencing.
The granting of permission to place tables in front of the establishment (or as close as possible in case of impediment) not only to give air to the bookstore, for reasons of capacity but to facilitate various flows (those who stroll, those who queue for signatures or those who buy), also the previous days, if deemed appropriate.

In short, it is urged to favor the dialogue between local administrations and the city’s bookstores: from the dialogue and agreement between the knowledge of the population, its uses, and the reality of behavior in Sant Jordi will come out with the most optimal solution.

The president of the Gremi de Llibreters de Catalunya, Eric del Arco, wanted to emphasize «the enormous effort of booksellers every Book Day so that everyone, from anywhere in the territory, can have that book they want to read or give as a gift and that the party is perfect». «Without a capillary network of bookstores like the one we have in Catalonia, a day like Book Day would be impossible to organize,» he added. Thus, for example, in:

  • Tarragona: bookstores will gather in a specific area on the Rambla.
  • Lleida: bookstores will gather on Avinguda Francesc Macià and Rambla de Ferran.
  • Girona: the city’s bookstores will continue their commitment to be located in the Copa, and the stands in front of the establishment on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Badalona: the Book Fair will be held from the 21st, culminating in Sant Jordi.
  • Manresa: as is traditional, flowers and books will be placed on the promenade.
  • Vic: the emblematic Plaça Major will host the city’s bookstores on Sunday.
  • Terrassa: from Friday, the bookstore stands in Plaça Vella.
  • Mataró: book fair from Friday until Sunday in the Plaza de Santa Anna.
  • Amposta: concentration of books and roses in the Town Hall square and in career Major.
  • Banyoles: book area in the Plaça Major and adjacent streets.
  • Cerdanyola del Vallès: apart from what the City Council organizes for entities in the Abat Oliba square, the bookstores will have a stop next to their establishments with a circuit.

The president of the Cambra, Patrici Tixis, highlighted «the diversity of the publishing offer that people will find throughout Catalonia, a sign of the creative and industrial power of the sector and which defines it as one of the most important in culture, also on an international level».

Barcelona’s consolidated model

Ciutat Vella, with more than 100

Since the pandemic, the Ramblas have been recovered for their symbolic value and for being the cradle of the festival. It follows the pattern of other areas of the city, with a professional area that will go from Canaletes – making a node with Passeig de Gràcia – to the entrance of the Plaça Reial. This recovery has made it possible to absorb part of the growth in demand, although, for safety reasons and given its configuration, it will present a lower and more fluid density than it had until 2019.

In the line of creating new poles of attraction and providing air for people to stroll, Plaça Reial is consolidated as a professional space together with Passeig de Lluís Companys, which stretches from the Arc de Triomf to the Ciutadella and connects with the specific space of Passeig de Sant Joan.

Gràcia, with about twenty stops

The traditional Plaça de la Vila is left behind and the professional area is moved to Gran de Gràcia, from the connection with the Jardinets de Gràcia to before the Gràcia crossing, an area from which there will be entities and stores until Rambla Prat.

This move provides a more spacious area to accommodate more bookshops in the district. At the same time, it creates a vertical axis with Passeig de Gràcia and Las Ramblas, which brings books and flowers even closer to the citizens, in the commitment to the proximity that we want for this model. Gràcia will also maintain the circuit of bookstores scattered throughout the district and the bookstore and illustration activities of Pla de Salmerón.

Passeig de Gràcia and transversals, around 180 stops

The perimeter around Passeig de Gràcia, from Gran Via to Diagonal, will be maintained, with several transversals (Diputació, Mallorca, Provença, and Rosselló), which will connect the promenade with Rambla de Catalunya, in an area that will be almost entirely closed to traffic (except Aragó, València and Gran Via).

Given the volume of requests, a section of Carrer Còrsega and Diagonal has been added to the Rambla de Catalunya, which in turn reinforces the walking circuit between the Rambla, with entities and roses, basically, and the central area of books and other roads, with the idea of spreading out this large space as much as possible.

The Plaza Universitat, which opened for the first time last year, has received more requests than it can absorb and is presented as an area of potential growth.

The Passeig de Sant Joan, dedicated to comics, graphic novels, children’s and young adult literature, and family audiences; a space that was recovered last year after two years closed due to the pandemic, will also host more book stalls than in previous years, reflecting the growth of these genres.

4. Les Corts, with a dozen stands

Growth of this area of the city on the Diagonal, between Pau Romeva and Joan Güell, both in the number of stalls and activities, in coexistence with the district fair, a model of symbiosis that also works in Poblenou.

5. Poblenou, with nine bookstalls

The bookstores are concentrated in two sections of the Rambla close to most of the establishments and reflect the cultural and associative power of this neighborhood. Another example of coordination with the commercial and neighborhood axis is the orderly, differentiated, and coexistent implementation of Sant Jordi, which can be extended to other areas of the city without professional spaces or other populations.

6. Sant Andreu, with eight bookstalls

The traditional Plaça d’Orfila, recovered last year, remains the civic heart of Sant Andreu, which on this day gives pride of place to the rose and the book.

7. Sarrià, with three bookstores in the heart of the neighborhood

The Sarrià square, as the neuralgic point of the neighborhood, expands along the lines mentioned above with the aim of bringing the festival closer to the people so that they rediscover the local bookstores.

The Gremi de Llibreters de Catalunya will create a list of all the bookshops in these spaces to make it easier for the media and the general public to consult them. This information will be available on the guild’s website.

Text: La Cambra del Llibre de Catalunya

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