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The Community brings literature closer to public transport users with the “Libros a la Calle” (“Books in the Street”) campaign

This year marks the twentieth edition. Fragments of such well-known authors as Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Rulfo or Buero Vallejo may be read.

The Community of Madrid brings literature closer and foments reading amongst public transport users with the ‘Books in the Street’ campaign, which celebrates its twentieth edition this year and in which fragments of texts of such famous authors, amongst others, as the latest Cervantes prize-winner, Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Rulfo or Antonio Buero Vallejo may be read.

Today at Ópera Station, the Director General of Cultural Heritage, Paloma Sobrini, along with the Chief Executive of Metro Madrid, Borja Carabante, presented this campaign in which, year after year, public transport users have adopted leading literary writers through contact with the fragments of the texts displayed.

In this respect, Sobrini stressed that “every Metro or train coach, every bus, may be a place where we encounter literature, enter into contact with unknown authors, personalities and unknown genres, or recall works once again that we read years ago. For the former, curiosity is created and for the latter the suggestion is made”.

As of this initial contact, the passenger has the option of continuing with the reading by visiting a bookshop or library and following up the story begun during the journey. Without leaving the Metro even, he or she may visit any of the twelve Bibliometro loan points, each located at a Madrid Metro station.

“The purpose of Books in the Street is to create the reading habit amongst our fellow citizens, offer new perspectives regarding little known authors and genres and commemorate the literary anniversaries and awards that occur in the course of the year”, the Director General of Cultural Heritage emphasized.

Amongst the authors selected in this edition, we may single out those awarded the principal Spanish literary prizes, first of all, the latest Cervantes prize-winner, Eduardo Mendoza, with a fragment of his well-known book Sin noticias de Gurb (No Word from Gurb).

Another award-winning writer is Juan Eduardo Zúñiga, the National Prize for Spanish Literature 2016. Of this creator, who has cultivated both the narrative and the literary essay genre, as well as the translation, the work chosen is Flores de plomo, an account based on historical data of the night on which Mariano José de Larra committed suicide and the days that preceded and followed this.


In this edition the wish is to render homage on their centenaries to Buero Vallejo with Historia de una escalera, Juan Rulfo with Pedro Páramo and José Luis Sampedro with El río que nos lleva. Amongst the centenaries, poetry is represented by the figures of Blas de Otero and Gloria Fuertes, an occasion to get better acquainted with the least known facet of the Madrid poetess, namely that of her “adult” poetry, of which a poem has been chosen from her Obras Incompletas (Incomplete Works).

“Books in the Street” evokes the centenary of the death of the dramatist José Echegaray, the first Spanish Nobel Prize-winner, with a fragment of El gran Galeoto (The Great Galeoto), and the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Azorín, through a passage of the work Azorín, testigo parlamentario, by José Ferrándiz Lozano.

The campaign also includes the presence of other languages, represented with bilingual texts by the Catalan Josep Pla, through El meu poble / Mi pueblo (my town); the Galician Castelao, through Nós / Nosotros (us); and the Basque Gabriel Aresti with Nire aitaren etxea / La casa de mi padre (my father’s house).


This new campaign itinerary includes for the first time the writer Luis Landero, with a passage from his novel El balcón en invierno, and the master of the comic, Carlos Giménez, with a comic vignette from his series Los profesionales, a homage to the profession of cartoonist and the graphic account of a whole epoch.

“Books in the Street” is an example of cooperation between public institutions and private bodies, which also enjoys the participation of the Madrid Book Publishers Association, the Consortium of Transport, the Office of Culture and Tourism of the Community of Madrid, and Metro Madrid.


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