ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Madrid: Free Books Bookstore

Updated on August 15, 2017

Bookstores of the world, move over and make room for a new joint in town: The Free Books Bookstore, Librería Libros Libres.

Source

Yes, books are free, if you so wish, in that bookstore. I'll get to that if you'll just keep on reading. However, the subtle nicety about this cool name is the fact that "free" also stands for freedom. As the NGO, Grupo 13 who set this bookstore up says, "books are an antidote for the crisis".

I can't but wholeheartedly agree. Read, educate yourself, step out of your known world into another that's either brighter, or a little bit more somber, or magic, or fantastic, or philosophic … or simply different. That's books for you, an eye opener for a whole different world.

Idea Behind

The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc., 3001 Vineyard Lane, Baltimore, MD 21218
The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc., 3001 Vineyard Lane, Baltimore, MD 21218 | Source

Baltimore is the birth place of this concept. It was 1999 when The Book Thing of Baltimore opened its doors. So what's this concept, then?

Essentially, it's a place where books are free for the taking. Or you can drop a cent for each of the books you take home. Or a dollar. As much or as little as you can. Or want.

Vice versa, you can drop books that you've already read for others to pick up and read. You'll be kindly asked to sign a disclaimer that you're willingly giving away books that are of your property.

Publishing houses contribute. And so does the general public, us folks on the street, who donate books for others to read. Trash for you, treasure for another, as they say. That very outdated concept, yes. I dropped off 15 books or so, fiction and non fiction. Not the first time I donate books, but the first I do so with such eagerness.

Our dream is to achieve the same dynamics achieved in Baltimore thanks to people's involvement: Thousands of books incoming and outgoing every week, and for this to be an economically viable project.

Librería Libros Libres

How Did I Find Out

The bookstore opened mid September 2012, and somehow they managed to attract attention in all the right places.

Perhaps because in this dreary economic climate we live in, all ideas or businesses that show some solidarity are media worthy indeed. Perhaps because it's cool to show the cool ideas.

Whatever the reason, it was in the news, as in, all over the news! El País, El Mundo, Clarin, Telemadrid, Facebook likes and Tweets all over the place, and then some. Seriously, all over the place.

Step In, Please

Source
Source

The straw that broke the camel's back for me, so to speak, was the radio morning show, where they interviewed one of the fellows that work there, Alejandro.

That day, and not one day later, I stepped into this wonderful realm of books for free.

The line outside was monumental, this is a street level apartment on a regular housing building, and my excuse to get ahead of the line was to have been carrying the miserable weight of about 15 books to donate.

I could step ahead of the line, but of course I couldn't linger inside. So I went back to do just that, linger and enjoy.

Right then and there I found out it's not only about books, they also carry DVDs, some of them for rent, and these fellows aim to, little by little, through donations, build up a collection that will be a reference in my fair city. Kudos.

How it Works

Source

There are three ways you can grab books out of this bookstore:

  • Browse, pick and take away, at no cost at all.
  • Browse, pick and drop some change or whatever you can drop for the books you're taking away.
  • Subscription at 12 euro (15 or 16 US dollars) year –year, mind you. This allows you to grab any books available. Or not. Perhaps you don't need more books that you already have, and you just want to support that others can avail themselves to reading, culture, dissenting opinions, the world seen from a different standpoint. Perhaps you just want to make this a better world, as the fellows at Libros Libres seem to want to achieve.

Their aim is to get 365 subscriptions a year, one person per day, to keep the bookstore operating.

Being There

Source

But you needn't subscribe. You can just go and spend a while browsing and then pick and go. Or just go, freely. They don't look at you funny, I was there and witnessed this. You're really free to take away as many books as you want without dropping a red cent in any box.

But here's the funny thing, it seems no one picks bunches of books and goes. One could, but doesn't. In my research, I've found the same to be true in Baltimore… Folks who really can't afford books won't take a hundred and go. They'll take a couple and then come back. Which is why the whole concept makes me all supportive, and then some.

There are folks as well who could probably afford to drop 10 dollars for a couple of books, or 10 dollars for 5 books, as well. But that's not the point.

The point is that books are there, and they are made available for the public at large. Whether you can afford them or not, or whether you just want to grab something and then spend your very meager cash on a beer…

Is There a BUT?

Source

I'm aware that some authors would scream and shout at the possibility that their books are bought once and read twice (that we know of, at least), but this isn't piracy, this isn't wrong use of intellectual property, this is genuine lending. The money potentially made of any giving and taking of books is meant for the sharing to continue, thus enriching the lives of citizens.

Right now, in this country of mine, in the world at large, anything that enriches people's lives is, at the very least, commendable.


A Better World

Books, and reading, hold the key to a better, more educated world. Books hold secrets, adventures, mysteries, thoughts. Books, and reading hold the key to brighter citizens, and a brighter society.

This world we live in would be a much better place should we all read 10 minutes a day at least, long live Free Books Bookstore.

© 2012 Elena.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR

      Elena. 

      5 years ago from Madrid

      Hello FC Aussie! Same here, I always drop some cash into the box, anything to help support this great concept! Thanks for your positive feedback :)

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 

      5 years ago from Southern Spain

      What a great idea as reading is so enjoyable - We must try visit there on our travels but I will pay for my books to help them out ! Voting you up .

    • Elena. profile imageAUTHOR

      Elena. 

      5 years ago from Madrid

      Great idea, indeed, both in a dreary economic climate or else... Reading is fundamental, in any circumstance :)

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      5 years ago from Taos, NM

      This is a great idea! I know of the economic crisis Spain is going through and at least this will help to keep spirits up some. Thanks for an inspiring story!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)