The Portuguese bookstore that inspired many writers and artists – such as J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” – celebrates its 111th birthday this Friday.
This Friday, the Lello bookstore, located in Oporto, will open its doors to visitors, at no charge, and offer the first 111 visitors a copy of their children book “Na livraria mais bonita do mundo” (which translates to ‘At the most beautiful bookstore in the world’).
The Lello bookstore has been considered many times as one of the most beautiful in the world, and it inspired several artists and writers, such as J. K. Rowling: the author of the Harry Potter saga took inspiration from the bookstore’s staircase to create Hogwarts magic stairwell, which is why she chose Lello to launch ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child last year’.
“It is our 111th birthday (…) this year, being a palindromic birthday, we thought it would be fun to invite the Portuguese rapper Capicua [which translates to Palindrome] to perform on our birthday”, stated Manuel de Sousa, advisor for the bookstore, to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
One of the highlights of the 2017 programming is the project for the first quarter of the year: selling and delivering books anywhere in the world will have no additional costs, stated one of the administrators of the bookstore Pedro Pinto to Lusa.
The programme for 2017 also includes the celebration of the World Book Day, on April 23: Lello will organize the “Meeting of the world’s most beautiful bookstores”, which include Atlantis Books (Santorini, Greece), Librerie Acqua Alta (Venice, Italy), Daunt Bookshop (London, UK) and The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, USA). The goal is to invite its representatives to meet in Oporto to discuss issues such as creating a “Passport for the world’s most beautiful libraries” and an exchange programme between booksellers.
The bookstore will also organize a special dinner to honor Salvador Dali and his book ‘Les dîners de Gala’, published in 1973: the dinner aims to challenge international prestige cooks to reinterpret some of the 136 recipes found on the book.
In addition to the events already mentioned, Lello’s cultural programming will include initiatives such as: evening entertainment, meetings with international authors, an international photography contest, guided tours to the bookstore on Children’s day, and celebrations for the several “National Days”.