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Books, roses, many signatures and gifts in a Sant Jordi that expects good sales

Books, roses, many signatures and gifts in a Sant Jordi that expects good sales

The books and the roses were, once again, the undisputed protagonists in Barcelona on this April 23, on a Sant Jordi marked by the forecast of good sales and in which the people of Barcelona once again filled the streets to look for their favorite authors, who in addition to signatures also gave gifts.

After two Sant Jordi marked by the coronavirus pandemic and two others that were celebrated on the weekend, this April 23, 2024 fell on a working day, as the book sector prefers, although it means the return of honking in the center of Barcelona or very long lines of schoolchildren in the streets.

The event, for which it is expected to sell more than 1.8 million volumes and about seven million roses, was also marked by the visit of Catalan politicians who came to buy and were seen three days before the start of the campaign. the regional elections of May 12.

After a few days with booksellers, editors and writers waiting for the sky, the rain offered a respite for the people of Barcelona to come and enjoy the tradition of Sant Jordi.

In the Catalan capital, at 8 in the morning there were already stalls selling roses on many corners of the most central streets, some of them located on an adapted bicycle or in an old baby stroller converted into a street stall.

The central and popular ‘Rambla de Catalunya’ was once again one of the most frequented places and, in this Sant Jordi of record for the number of booths selling books and signings of writers, Passeig de Gràcia was also the epicenter of the party, with floods of people looking for their favorite writers to have their books signed or get a photo with them.

The usual best-sellers each faced the mass bath in their own way: Juan Goméz-Jurado standing, taking photos while signing, or Javier Castillo dedicating copies with very studied logistics and two assistants, one to open the book to the white page and another to take the reminder photo with the interested party’s mobile phone.

The Mexican writer Juan Pablo Villalobos, who has lived in Barcelona for years, defines Sant Jordi as “an oasis in an apocalyptic desert” which he compared to the Mexican Guadalajara Book Fair: “It is a city with many deficits, there is a lack of bookstores and libraries, but for one day it is still miraculous that people think about buying books; and in the context of unease and disappointment, hope seems to be recovered.”

And what better gift for a reader than Villalobos himself prepared for this Tuesday, a numbered micro-story that he gave to his readers; But if one can talk about art, the poet Mario Obrero was the most selfless, because with his watercolors he drew dedications in full color.

The groups of schoolchildren returned to the streets, after a few years in which they had “missing” ,and foreigners were amazed by what is happening in the center of the city, with human floods invading the main roads.

One of these groups, formed by Endre, Johanne, Kjartan, Else-Marie and Maria Carme, arrived from Bergen (Norway), where they all work at their University.

Maria Carme, a Catalan who has been living in the Scandinavian city for more than two decades, told EFE that she had been explaining to her colleagues what Sant Jordi was for years and today they were able to experience it live together.

The four Norwegians were left “Amazed and fascinated, above all, by the queues that some writers have”according to the Spanish.

In a moment of confusion, Endre and Kjartan took the opportunity to escape to a rose stand and purchase three flowers, to the consequent excitement of their traveling companions.

With the flowers in hand, they will go down to eat on the beach and, in the afternoon, they will return to Passeig de Gràcia and from a viewpoint they will be able to once again contemplate the thousands of people with books and roses at the Sant Jordi festival.

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Source: Gestion

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