Monday, July 12, 2010

Portugal Reads!

The people of Portugal, or at least the city of Lisbon, read.  Apparently a lot.  I've never seen so many bookstores.  There are fewer than 600,000 people in the city and less than 3 million in the metro area, but bookstores galore.  There is a large branch of Spain's big department store, El Corte Inglês, in Lisbon that has a substantial book department.  (Think of Macy's with a whole lot of books.)  There are large entertainment stores with major book sections.  (Think of Best Buys with about 25% of the floor space devoted to books.)  And there are lots and lots of independent bookstores.

In addition, people in Portugal read serious stuff.  Each store I saw had prominent sections devoted to heavy topics like philosophy and political science.

While I never ran across a children's bookstore, each of the independents that I ventured into had great kids sections.

Diário de um Banana, the Portuguese version of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  From the best I can figure, "banana" in Portuguese is the same word as our banana, but it also means "wimp."  The Portuguese version of the book has a really cool website.  Check it out!

- Dave

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