Hoy se celebra, por sexto año consecutivo, el día de las librerías, esos espacios que siempre parecen destinados a caer en el olvido pero que siempre resurgen, resucitan en nuevas formas, se reciclan y se reinventan y, sobre todo, se mantienen fieles a quienes sabemos que tenemos en ellas un remanso de paz, de tiempo de charla agradable y amena, de descubrir y ayudar a descubrir y, por qué no decirlo, de lamentarnos un poco cuando abrimos la cartera y vemos lo limitados que podemos llegar a estar.

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El cartel de este año ha tomado como inspiración la primera frase de la novela de Herman Melville, publicada en 1851, Moby Dick: “Llamadme Ismael”. A su lado, el lema “Tus preguntas siempre tienen un libro por respuesta”. Curioso, porque yo lo habría planteado al contrario: un libro, por cada respuesta que puede ofrecer, da lugar a miles de nuevas preguntas, a incertidumbres que requieren de otros libros para solventarlas, y así se genera una cadena infinita, de volumen en volumen, de título en título, sin poder alcanzar nunca la sabiduría absoluta.

Para celebrar este día, he querido recopilar algunas citas relacionadas con las librerías. Están en inglés para respetar el original (y para no incurrir en errores de traducción):

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”
― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

“It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.”
― Agatha Christie, The Clocks

“I have gone to [this bookshop] for years, always finding the one book I wanted – and then three more I hadn’t known I wanted.”
― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“Jake went in, aware that he had, for the first time in three weeks, opened a door without hoping madly to find another world on the other side. A bell jingled overhead. The mild, spicy smell of old books hit him, and the smell was somehow like coming home.”
― Stephen King, The Waste Lands

“Genre is a bookstore problem, not a literary problem.”
— Rick Moody

“There is that romanticized idea of what a bookstore can be, what a library can be, what a shop can be. And to me, they are that. These are places that open doors into other worlds if only you’re open to them.”
—Ruth Reichl

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.”
— Jerry Seinfeld

“I’d never heard of the ‘Lord of the Rings’, actually. So I went to the bookstore and there it was, three shelves of books about Tolkien and Middle-earth, and I was like, ‘Holy cow, what else am I missing out on?'”
— Sean Astin

“Where’s your church?”
“We’re standing in it.”
“But this is a bookstore and it’s a Friday.”
“Yes, but you might also choose to see it as a cathedral of the human spirit-a storehouse consecrated to the full spectrum of human experience. Just about every idea we’ve ever had is in here somewhere. A place containing great thinking is a sacred space.”
― Forrest Church, A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism

“I had a friend once who looked at his library and discovered that even if he completely stopped filmmaking (he was a filmmaker too) and just decided to read the books he had in his library, it would take him until he was 100 years old. He was a little bit panicked. But he was courageous. He went out of his house. He went to the bookstore. And he bought ten books.”
― Alain Resnais

“Bibliotropic,” Hugh said. “Like sunflowers are heliotropic, they naturally turn towards the sun. We naturally turn towards the bookshop.”
— Jo Walton

“Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn’t exist in any declaration I have ever read. If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people.I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn’t occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don’t like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don’t like it, nobody is telling you to finish it. To read a 600-page novel and then say that it has deeply offended you: well, you have done a lot of work to be offended.”
— Salman Rushdie

Yo, para aportar un poco más de mi particular visión sobre las librerías, os invito a que, los que no lo hayáis hecho ya, leáis el pequeño homenaje que escribí hace un tiempo: La librería.

Pasead por vuestra ciudad, id a charlar con vuestro librero, descubrid alguna nueva librería, comprad algún libro –aprovechad, que hoy suele haber descuentos, además de actividades programadas en un buen montón de locales— y, sobre todo, sacad un ratito de tiempo para leer algo. Porque comprar sin leer, o sin el propósito de leer algún día todos esos tomos que se acumulan por casa, no tiene demasiado sentido.

¡Feliz día de las librerías! 

¿Y tú? ¿Cómo celebras este día, si lo haces? ¿Cuál es tu pequeño homenaje a estos templos del saber?