Madrid (EFE) a day in which the electoral campaign has also been present.
Despite the fact that the organizers of the Madrid Book Fair (FLM) expect to reach figures similar to those of the last edition, which had more than three million visitors and sales of 10.2 million euros, forecasts for rains for the next few days make booksellers and publishers look at the sky with fear.
“The rain harms the fair and it is something that we cannot control,” the director of the FLM, Eva Orúe, told Efe, who this Friday made the inaugural tour with Miquel Iceta, Minister of Culture and Sports; José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid, and Marta Rivera de la Cruz, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Community of Madrid, among other political representatives of the three administrations.
Absence of Queen Letizia at the Madrid Book Fair
Queen Letizia, who usually inaugurates this fair in the Retiro Park, has not attended this year so as not to interfere in the last day of the campaign for the municipal and regional elections to be held next Sunday.
An electoral campaign that has been present in the inaugural tour, since some of the members of the entourage have made some stops to make statements to the media.
The political representatives have stopped at the booth of the Pérgamo bookstore, the oldest in Madrid, but which is attending the fair for the first time; in that of the Renacimiento publishing house, where both the mayor and the Minister of Culture have bought, as well as in those of the Publishers Guild, the European Pavilion, among many others. They have also entered into the reproduction of the human brain that the CSIC has set up.
The Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta, has made numerous purchases of books that he has insisted on paying for, although booksellers and publishers insisted on giving them away: “I always pay for them. I am on a crusade against the expression ‘for the love of art’”, he told some of them.
“Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus”, by Mary Shelley; “The encyclopedia of the worker”, by Alejandro Civantos; “The sports revolution”, by Gerard Pedret; “Rosa’s trip’, by Marika Maijala; “Socialist Feminism”, by Maria Cambrils; “A Barbarian in Paris”, by Mario Vargas Llosa; “Unpublished letters from Benito Pérez Galdós and Emilia Pardo Bazán” or “Modernity, feminism and crisis between centuries”, by Pardo Bazán, have been some of the titles acquired by Iceta, while the mayor of Madrid has bought from the Renacimiento publishing house ” Celia in the revolution”, by Elena Fortún.
Bad weather could affect sales
The rain forecasts for the next few days may probably affect sales, the president of the Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain (FGEE), Daniel Fernández, has acknowledged to EFE, who has recalled, however, that rainfall always tends to make act of presence at this event and that this Friday there was already a large audience: “The feeling is that the fair is going to go very well,” he said.
Less optimistic has been José Manuel Hernández, from the Generación X comic bookstore specialized in comics: “If it rains a lot, it’s going to be a bummer”, he indicated after assuring that fair sales usually account for 10 percent of the annual balance in a genre that grows more each year.
The writer Julia Navarro has also attended the first day of the fair, where she has been signing her books for 19 years. And she has claimed to have mixed feelings about these weather forecasts, since, although she is happy that the water is finally coming, she is worried about the effect it has on booksellers and publishers.
“There is a lot at stake, because these days many sales are concentrated and for booksellers it will be a problem,” Navarro stressed.
The first time of the Pérgamo bookstore
The Pérgamo bookstore, the oldest in Madrid, is the first time it has attended the fair, and its new owners (they took over it after the retirement of its previous owners) are confident that the public will come to meet them and show their collections both classical literature and independent publishers, as explained by Pablo Cerezo, who accounts for around 20 percent of the annual volume of sales, which can represent one edition of the fair.
The Madrid Book Fair is 90 years old, although it celebrates its 82nd edition, since it was interrupted for eight years between the Civil War and the postwar period. On this occasion, science is the leading theme under the slogan “We are Sciences and Letters”.
Until June 11, more than 400 activities and some 4,000 signing sessions will be held in the 385 booths that house 424 exhibitors and that will accommodate more than 1,000 publishers and more than a hundred bookstores.