In Buenos Aires, Argentina, neighborhood bookshops "are multiplying and thriving as readers seek personal connections and thoughtful recommendations from the booksellers," despite the toll taken by a recession and the Covid-19 pandemic, the New York Times reported. Small shops "are sprouting where their readers are, in residential areas, keeping alive the rich literary scene" in the capital city.
"Bookstores just keep opening," said Cecilia Fanti, who founded the Céspedes Libros bookstore in August 2017 and expanded it to a larger location three years later to keep up with demand.
Víctor Malumián, an editor at small publisher Godot and co-founder of a popular book fair for independent publishers, noted: "It's true that you can find absolutely everything online, but you're only going to find what you know you're going to look for. Small bookstores help you find what you don't know you're looking for."
For bookish Porteños, as the residents of Buenos Aires are known, "that personal connection makes all the difference," the Times wrote, adding that "with Porteños confined to their neighborhoods for much of 2020, they turned to the small bookstores nearby. And those stores--with their smaller staffs, cheaper rents and nimble social media presence--suddenly found themselves with a distinct comparative advantage over larger chain stores."
MalaTesta Libros, opened by Carime Morales in the Parque Chas neighborhood, was such a success she had to give up her work as a freelance editor. "MalaTesta is in the heart of the neighborhood," she said. "The neighbors go to buy lettuce and then stop by the store to buy a book."
Cristian De Nápoli, author and owner of Otras Orillas Libros, observed: "Argentina may always be in crisis but there are a lot of readers. And they aren't just any readers, but readers who are always in search of what's new.... There is an enormous number of books. It is small bookstores that in some way put order to that euphoria."
Just ahead of next week's Australian Booksellers Association's Conference & Trade Exhibition (June 12-13 in Sydney), shortlists have been released for the Australian Book Industry Awards, celebrating "professionals in the book business--the dedicated individuals and teams who bring stories to life, authors' dreams to reality, and books to the right readers." Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony June 9. Shortlisted in the bookselling categories are:
Bookshop of the Year, awarded to an individual physical bookshop in Australia that has demonstrated excellence over the course of 2021:
Open Book (Mosman Park)
Matilda Bookshop (Adelaide)
Potts Point Bookshop (Sydney)
Avenue Bookstore Albert Park (Victoria)
Avid Reader Bookshop (Brisbane)
Paper Bird Children's Books & Arts (Fremantle)
Book Retailer of the Year, awarded to the Australian company or group of companies or retailers that has best demonstrated excellence and contributed to the overall success of the industry over the course of the year:
Harry Hartog Bookseller
The Rising Star Award shortlist, Lloyd O'Neil Hall of Fame Award and Pixie O'Harris Award recipients, and Publisher and Small Publisher Award shortlists can be found here, and book award finalists here.
"We love a good recap!" the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association posted on Facebook. "We were astounded by your response to #CIBD2022. Readers came together from across the country to celebrate and support local booksellers, participate in activities, and enter our Contest for Book Lovers. Want to revisit the lovefest? Check out all the notes we received from authors and illustrators this year. Thank you for being part of our community! We can't wait to celebrate again next year." --Robert Gray