Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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A bookstore for every sixteen people, wow

Via The Passive Voice blog, this article: This Small Village In Spain Is Home To More Books Than People.


Imagine a small medieval town behind a high wall. A castle stands on one end, and all around are vineyards and fields of wheat. Imagine that within the walls the entire town is devoted to reading and writing. Imagine that the entire town is, in essence, one magical bookstore. … Fewer than 200 people live in Urueña, according to the 2014 census. But these few villagers run 12 different bookstores, meaning that there’s one bookstore for every sixteen or so people. Some are general interest shops; others specialize in old and rare books. One focuses on the region of Castilla y León, another on children’s books. A shop called El 7 Bookshop specializes in books about bullfighting. Another concentrates its collection on books about wine, and this one is called The Cellar.

Wow. I’m certainly adding that to Places to Visit in Spain, not that I have any immediate plans to visit Spain, but this would definitely be a destination if I did.

Plus there’s the castle. Nice pictures at the link. Also museums and classes and stuff. This was part of a deliberate attempt to become (the best kind of) tourist attraction, which I hope has done well by the town. Evidently about 40,000 people visit Urueña per year, or about 200 per resident, or about 3,300 per bookstore. I bet they enjoy it.

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4 Comments A bookstore for every sixteen people, wow

  1. Rachel

    Kim, I’m sure you’ll enjoy yourself! I wouldn’t mind a trip to Spain myself, but perhaps next year.

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