Livraria Lello celebrates 117 years of
love for the sustainability of Books
“I always imagined that paradise was a kind of bookstore”, Jorge Luís Borges.
Livraria Lello celebrates its 117th anniversary with eyes on the future. A future we want bright and sustainable. This is a path we have been following since we started what we call the second life of Livraria Lello, when in 2015 the Pedro Pinto family acquired the majority of the share capital, completely transforming the business, and placing the Book at the center of the whole his performance. A transformation based on the main pillars of sustainability: environmental, social, economic, and cultural. It’s this path, consolidated today, that we celebrate on Livraria Lello’s 117th anniversary, aware of what we have achieved but also of the increasing responsibility we have towards our history, our community, and the world.
First brand in Portugal and first cultural brand in the world certified with the Butterfly Mark
After a process of several months, the international organization Positive Luxury awarded the Butterfly Mark certification to Livraria Lello for the work carried out in recent years in the area of environmental, social, economic, and cultural sustainability. “The commitment we have made to the Old Book, the concerns we have on a daily basis with providing the best working conditions to our employees, the fact that gender equality and opportunities have long ceased to be an issue for us, the growing concern we have had with our business ecosystem and with our local, national and international community, with actions that aim to give back a little of what we receive daily, are some of the examples of sustainable practices that we carry out every day”, says Aurora Pedro Pinto, CEO of Livraria Lello.
Waste management, circularity, care for the community and environmentally friendly production are the strongest points pointed out by Positive Luxury to Livraria Lello. “Obtaining the Butterfly Mark, in addition to a privilege, also adds commitment and responsibility to continue on the path, to do more and more for the environment, for the planet, for the community”, added Aurora Pedro Pinto.
Launch of a collection of Dystopias and the Institutional Book of Livraria Lello
In celebration of its 117 years, Livraria Lello increases its editorial offer with the launch of a collection of three Dystopias, three fundamental books of world literature: 1984, The Iron Heel and The War of the Worlds. A collection with covers signed by the multi-award-winning American artist Mike Perry, which make this collection absolutely unmissable.
In addition to the dystopic collection, Livraria Lello launches its first institutional book. Dreamed years ago, it has traveled a long path of maturation, discussion of ideas, search for the best designers, the best photographer and the best authors who together managed to convey in 180 pages everything that the words Livraria Lello, full of history, mean , bookseller know-how, and a DNA that reinvents itself daily, always focusing on the boldness of “Putting the Whole World Reading”. From Ernesto Chardron, passing through the Lello Brothers and culminating in the Pedro Pinto family, The Book tells above all the enormous thirst to do, to build futures, which daily guide all those who dream in and with Livraria Lello.
Both the dystopic collection and the Institutional Book of Livraria Lello were produced in Portugal, in a certified graphic partner, with FSC paper.
Lello Editores returns home
When Livraria Lello opened its doors in 1906, it opened as a Bookshop and Publisher, and was the home of the most important national writers, such as Eça de Queiroz and Camilo Castelo Branco. It exported culture, mainly to Portuguese-speaking markets, with a special focus on Brazil. But at the end of the 20th century, the publishing house separated from the Bookstore. This publishing house filed for insolvency in 2022, but Livraria Lello could not allow this collection, this history, to be lost. Thus, at the end of the year, he acquired this story at auction, which is also his, and which today, at the age of 117, returns home, with the inauguration of an exhibition in Livraria Lello's most special place: Sala Gemma.
From Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan with love
The 117th anniversary of Livraria Lello conclude with the celebration of what was the last and supreme daring of 2022: the acquisition, also at auction, in this case in the United States, of 42 unpublished love letters from the young mortal Robert Zimmerman, sung and written like the immortal author Bob Dylan. Today, Livraria Lello exhibits part of this very valuable collection, which tells the story of teenage love, of a young dreamer and lover, who dreamed of selling 1 million records – he has sold, to date, more than 125 million.
On the first floor of the bookshop, inside a mirrored bell, it is possible to appreciate the letter that the then Robert wrote to his girlfriend Barbara, telling her about these dreams. The rest will, for the time being, be kept in the safe at Livraria Lello, to be read, studied, understood, so that, at the right time, they can be revealed in their entirety.
Happy birthday to you!
“Bread, so that this house may never know hunger. Salt, so that life always has flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever", Mary and George Bailey, in It's a Wonderful Life.
At noon, outside Livraria Lello, congratulations are sung with bread and wine, in partnership with Ogy by Euskalduna, by Michelin Star chef Vasco Coelho Santos.
Soon after, the doors open to the public, on a day when admission is free, and with an offer to the first 117 visitors / readers of a copy of one of the three Dystopias launched on the 13th of January by Livraria Lello.
.10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Private event celebrating 117 years, with opening of aWWF
– World Life Fund for Nature - installation, announcement of obtaining the Positive Luxury seal,
launch of the collection of three dystopic novels and Livraria Lello’s Institutional Book, opening of an exhibition
dedicated to 42 unpublished love letters from Bob Dylan and opening of the exhibition dedicated to Lello Editores.
Congratulations are sung to Livraria Lello.
Doors open, offering the first 117 visitors / readers a book from the new Dystopias collection.
Doors close for team celebration of 117 years.