Lello bookshop opens wicket for the city
We are living through times of enormous collective anxiety. Happily, we experience them together and fully focused on overcoming the challenges in safety and solidarity, getting from the abnormality of this necessary emptiness on route to the busy normality that makes us happy.
Ever before any recommendation from the municipal council or the government, Livraria Lello had already abdicated from something never before gone without: having its doors open to readers who, for the last 114 years, had sought us out without any interruption and that had correspondingly remained open throughout three national revolutions (Declaration of the Republic, Sidonista Revolution and the Installation of Estado Novo Dictatorship and the Democratic Revolution of April 1974), two World Wars, one Colonial War and one lengthy revolutionary process that continues onwards its own agitated way.
Similarly, and even before Porto transforms the current reservations into a renewed and reiteration of a (re)affirmation, we wish to be the first bookstore to open up, if not its doors, then a physically small but symbolically giant shelter for the city.
After the always literary France had considered, in the special regulations implemented to govern this ongoing pandemic, that books were basic need goods, the Portuguese Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, came out to clarify that books in Portugal were of no lesser need than the most basic and that, with the same health and safety measures required of the other retail and service establishments left open, books might also continue to be read, shared, lived, without needing to be shut away in the intangible invisibility of a PDF or a sterilised plastic bag to continue being what they have always been: books. We understand that while books have always played a fundamental role in the life of populations, they gain a yet more irreplaceable role in these difficult periods that we are going through in which they provide a strong contribution to the mental sanity of each one of us. Hence, we shall never give up, now more than ever, on complying with our mission of getting the whole world reading whilst there is still a world, readers and content to read.Therefore, we shall be the first bookstore in the world to open a drive thru and within place a book that the citizens of Porto are not about to miss out on reading. Since 1 April, celebrating the truth of literature, Livraria Lello opened its drive thru specifically targeting books (the first worldwide). This book drive thru shall be open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 12pm. We will daily choose a different book from “The Collection” [please see the list annexed], published by Livraria Lello, with this choice previously communicated via our website and our social media channels. As, in times of crisis, Porto and its citizens grit their teeth and share the sacrifices, this book is not going on sale but rather represents a gift from Livraria Lello to all those who, like ourselves, consider reading and books a service and a good of the most primary need.
This gift is dependent only on prior registration, made by email at firstname.lastname@example.org , sending the details before 6pm on the day before the reader intends to pass by the Livraria Lello “Book Drive Thru”. The delivery of the books shall, under this exceptional model, be undertaken by a Livraria Lello member of staff who shall be in compliance with all the health and safety norms and deliver the books directly to the windows of cars that have scheduled a delivery from the Livraria Lello “Book Drive Thru”. This is a genuine act of “Love in the Times of Cholera” by Livraria Lello and its team to its readers and its city that are its world.