Look What They’re Doing in Portugal!

On Saturday Jack and I got a message from a bookseller in Portugal:

Dear Wendy Welch and dear Jack Beck,
My name is Inês and I’m from Portugal. I stumbled upon your book 2 days ago and I’m already in love with your little bookshop. I’m in the middle of the book and already I have cried and laughed, and had goose bumps… it’s so nice to see that you are doing so well in there! I’m so proud of you and I haven’t met you (yet!!!… ’cause I’m telling you, one day I’ll visit you! I need to see you with my own eyes! hahaha)
I too work at a little bookshop at a little town called Sines, I don’t own the bookshop, but my boss is a dear friend of mine. I’m always trying to come up with ideias to bring new customers here…
Read Wendy’s words has given me strenght and hope! We can do this! And I’m writing this simple message (with my bad english) just to thank you guys, for inspiring people, there, and obviously, like me… all around the world where the book has been sold.
Best wishes and a warm hug, Inês Espada

So of course now we’re in love with Ines, and in short order her boss; another bookseller named Luis, an activist from another town; the bookshop she works in; and her mom became Facebook friends of Jack and me and had liked our store (as we did theirs). But the cool thing, aside from just being happy to meet booksellers from another country, is to find that in Portugal indie bookstores have banded together in ways that really create a supportive community between them. Here’s some additional info Ines sent Sunday:

Luis is a dear friend of mine! he’s a book seller, and a great fighter of our cause. He’s always sharing information about bookstores and he created an event every year at the last sunday of march we have a booksellers meeting where we can discuss all the things that are happening around our book world. And now we have created a diploma to honor the great booksellers we have. With the big online shops selling books, it’s been difficult to us to combat the low prices that they have… It has been a struggle for some little bookstores, many have closed… but we have our motto, something like this: “Isto não fica assim!” The translation must be something like “we can do it” or “this will not end here!”

  • ISTO NÃO FICA ASSIM!

    encontrolivreiro.blogspot.com

    I was looking at our blog, the blog we use for the anual meeting, and I really want to show you, but it’s all in portuguese, you can try to read some of the things using google translate, but I’m gonna propose we do an english version. the diploma is called “Livreiros da Esperança” – Booksellers of Hope for booksellers that never stopped believing in books! Just like you! this year the diploma goes to a couple that have a bookstore at Setúbal for more than 40 years. You can see them in the photos at the blog http://encontrolivreiro.blogspot.pt/

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2 Comments

Filed under book reviews, bookstore management, folklore and ethnography, publishing, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized, writing

2 responses to “Look What They’re Doing in Portugal!

  1. jeannstewart

    Dear Wendy and Jack, I am Jean Stewart, who read Wendy’s book – first, because I remember that my parents met when they both happened to be in Big Stone Gap – years ago – in the early ’20s – and I was born in Stonega in 1926 – and I wanted to know whatever Wendy had to say about Big Stone Gap. So I went to Parnassus bookshop in Nashville to buy your book and to meet both of you. And what a delight that was! I had just come back from Britain (including time spent in Scotland) so I had a nice visit with Jack, plus enjoyed his music. I have continued to enjoy your blog – and after reading today’s message from Portugal, I had to write and tell you how wonderful it is that the good news about your shop has gone worldwide – and I can certainly understand why!! I haven’t given up on the idea of my getting to Big Stone one of these days – and of course to the “Little Bookstore”. With love and best wishes, Jean

    • Jack Beck

      Hey Jean,

      Great to hear from you and I enjoyed our chat at Parnassus as well. Isn’t it wonderful how the ripples spread out across the world?

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