San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Books

Book exchange to ‘liberate’ paperbacks in Cariari

Ebooks and podcasts may be taking over the world, but there’s one thing a paperback still does best: get passed around. There’s nothing like sharing a good old-fashioned print volume, and this weekend you’ll find a small library of books to borrow in an unlikely spot – the Plaza Real shopping center in Cariari.

Like a bibliophilic scavenger hunt, the so-called World Book Liberation Day invites participants to scatter used books around the complex, and all of these editions are up for grabs. Organizers only request that people taking a book leave one as well.

“We appeal to all book lovers to release the books they have already read and pick up others,” Ivannia Fumero, the general manager of Plaza Real Cariari, said in a press release. She added that she hoped participants would “be part of this movement, allowing us to fulfill our social responsibility and literacy education for the Costa Rican family.”

The all-day event is hosted by El Club de los Libros Perdidos (The Lost Books Club), an informal organization dedicated to the free exchange of books. In this case, liberación doesn’t mean releasing the books from bondage, but releasing them from one bookshelf to another. Such trades are especially valuable in Costa Rica, where new books can be unusually pricey.

There are no guidelines for types of books – participants can bring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and (who knows?) field guides and small business manuals. Most available titles will probably be in Spanish, but English speakers might be surprised.

The Gran Liberación Mundial de Libros will take place June 21 at Centro Comercial Plaza Real, Cariari, Heredia. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Free. Info: Event Facebook page.

Contact Robert Isenberg at risenberg@ticotimes.net

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