entering livraria lello means reading a book

Porto citizens and visitors back to seeking out Livraria Lello as a cultural destination

The time to enter

We know that, prior to the pandemic, Livraria Lello was an unmistakeable icon of the city of Porto. We also know it was an excellent barometer of tourism demand for Porto as a city of books, tourism and heritage. The post-confinement reopening has proven that the first pioneers to again seek out Porto, also search for Livraria Lello as their first destination. And they have proven that Livraria Lello is a desire that extends beyond just an impulse; this is the firm intention of those who do not quit but instead insist.

Increasing numbers of travellers from the most diverse origins arrive at Livraria Lello seeking for a unique, personal and non-transferable heritage and cultural experience and they do not quit even when understanding that entrance into the prettiest bookstore in the world implies, due to complete respect for the health and safety limitations in effect, waiting for a pair of hours, or even a couple of pairs of hours, more than time enough to read the finest of books, especially one of the classics edited under “The Collection” by Livraria Lello. At certain peaks in visitors, that in recent days have happened daily, at various times per day, this demand has even led to the suspending of entrances and asking those wishing to visit us what we should never have to ask of them: to leave us and return either later or on another day. All of this to ensure that two pairs of hours end up as less than one paid and to be able to provide the very best experience to the readers and travellers that sought us out first.

At a time when it is said that nobody reads, when too many bookstores are closing their doors, a period when there are fears of no more travelling, Livraria Lello is once again living proof that people do read, that there is space and time for bookstores that provide a unique experience and that (national and international) travellers continue to want to consume (see, touch, smell, hear, taste) culture and heritage.

Livraria Lello shall proceed with its mission of rescuing for the near future the viability and satisfaction with bookstores as a cultural destination and of being the largest exporter of translated national literature, hoping that, in just a brief period, the health authorities and the national and municipal governments might recognise the terms and conditions for expanding the number of clients that may be welcomed simultaneously and the scope for longer opening times to thus naturally ensure Livraria Lello has every condition for disinfection and demanding of its clients the usual (and increasingly normal) usage of individual protection equipment, washing hands and maintaining social distancing exactly as required by all these public entities.