With more bookstores per capita than any other city in on the planet, Buenos Aires is known as the bookstore capital of the world, and its annual international book fair regularly sees 1.2 million visitors.
Buenos Aires also leads the Latin American Noche de las Librerías (Night of the Bookstores) phenomenon, where once a year a major city street is closed to traffic – in this instance the Avenida Corrientes – and bookstores stay open through the night, as tens of thousands flock to enjoy a cultural event that embraces not just bookstores but cinema, music, and gastronomy.
This year the event was expanded to include in the “Espacio Librero” bookstores located elsewhere in the city.
The Night of the Bookstores presents activities designed for different generations to enjoy the event as a family. There will be spaces for games for children, treasure hunts, talks with referents from the narrative world, poetry cycles, artistic interventions, live literary experiences, music jam, bookbinding workshops, activities with illustrators and interventions by muralists, among others.
La Noche de las Librerías has long since spread across the continent.
Next month it will be Peru’s turn again.
The Miraflores District of the Peruvian capital, Lima, last year held its La Noche de las Librerías with 25 Miraflores bookstores engaged, as part of the Municipal Book and Reading Plan.
As reported here at TNPS, Uruguay held its first Noche de las Librerías in Montevideo in December.
Uruguay’s Night of the Bookstores. Who says Latinos don’t read?
Elsewhere on the continent, where city-wide events have not yet materialized, local bookstores hold their own La Noche de las Librerías events to keep their customers happy, as per this example in the Colombian capital Bogota last year.
As always to these events discounts are a big part of the appeal, and a reminder that, if the price is right, a lot more books might be sold to a lot more readers.