Little pop-up shacks line Paseo de Recoletos bringing together a strange collection of intellects and book enthusiasts, arty types and young literature students. The popularity of these book stalls remind you that the digital age has not yet triumphed over the feeling of holding a new book in your hands, a new story unfolding and the possibilities endless. The musty familiar smell is pleasurable and coupled with the crisp autumn air makes you want to curl up in bed for days with that one good book and lose yourself.
This old book fair is an annual occurrence that brings together 40 stalls from different regions around Spain to showcase great works and specialties, and even offers the chance to chat with well-known authors, meet representatives from various publishing houses, and partake in book signing sessions. Perhaps this was why when lost in my own little world taking photographs, that an old man begun abusing and yelling at me and chasing me down the Paseo. His ramblings in Spanish were not unlike a comic novel themselves and it all added to the character of the event. I guess a blonde Guiri (foreigner) taking photos of a seemingly unknown famous author could be seen as a creepy paparazzi. Either way the stalls still make for great hunting of antique posters including war propaganda and weird sexist imagery of woman performing domestic duties.
This gathering is in its 72nd consecutive year (apparently) and is one of the most traditional cultural events in the Capital.