Oh to be in Barcelona today, where this all got its start and where the people obviously know how to make an event out of books.
April 23rd, Sant Jordi, or Saint George Day has traditionally been a day for roses and lovers, and men gave roses to their girlfriends or wives. Sometime in the 1920’s, a bookseller in Barcelona noted that William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes both died on this day in 1616 and integrated book giving into the same day. What a clever man!
If you google ‘el día del libro Barcelona’ and click on photos, you can see what a fantastic and festive atmosphere this must be, not only for bibliophiles, but for everybody. Book stands piled high with reading material, florists selling roses, everybody out in the streets, authors reading and signing books, people exchanging books and flowers, and so on.
Qué ciudad simpática! Quizas el proximo año…