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11 July 2023

Casa del Libro, winner of the Boixareu Ginesta Bookseller of the Year Award

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The Spanish Federation of Publishers' Guilds (FGEE) has awarded the Boixareu Ginesta Bookseller of the Year Award to Casa del Libro on Gran Vía in Madrid on its centenary. The award will be presented on 5 October during the International Book Fair, LIBER 2023, which this year will be held at IFEMA MADRID, from 4 to 6 October.

Since 1995, the Boixareu Ginesta Award has recognised the work of booksellers and bookshops that play an important role in the development and promotion of literary culture and contribute to the consolidation of the book chain in their areas of activity. This year, the FGEE's Board of Directors has decided to honour Casa del Libro on Gran Vía in Madrid for its centenary and for having become a hallmark of the city and a benchmark for visitors from Latin America over the past 100 years. 

On 15 April 1923, an establishment called 'Palacio del Libro' was inaugurated at number 29 Gran Vía. This large building was designed by the architect José Yarnoz Larrosa and soon became one of the symbols of this emblematic street of the city.

That same year it changed its name to 'Casa del Libro', the name it has kept ever since. From the outset, it became a pioneering bookshop, considered the first modern bookshop in Spain, as it allowed readers not only an intellectual approach to books, but also a physical one, as they were permitted to browse through them and appraise them before purchasing them.

Over the last one hundred years, Casa del Libro has borne witness to the vicissitudes of Spanish society and culture. It housed the headquarters of La Revista de Occidente, directed by José Ortega y Gasset, and became a meeting point for great figures of the time such as Federico García Lorca, Xavier Zubiri, Miguel de Unamuno and Ramón Gómez de la Serna, among others. It survived the civil war and after the arrival of democracy it gradually expanded its size and horizons, maintaining its proximity to customers as a hallmark of its identity. It became part of Grupo Planeta in 1992 and later, in 1996, it became a key player in the digital world, with the launch of the first e-commerce website for books in Spanish. In 1999, it began the first phase of its expansion, becoming the only bookshop in Spain with a presence in the prime shopping areas of the main Spanish cities, in twenty-six provinces, including the Balearic and Canary Islands. Today, Casa del Libro has 55 bookshops with a team of around 900 people, with the firm intention of being a cultural meeting point in the cities where it operates.

This award will be presented on 5 October during the International Book Fair, LIBER 2023, which this year is being held at IFEMA MADRID. At the same event, the prizes for the best adaptation of a literary work and for the promotion of reading in the media will also be awarded to Los pacientes del doctor García (Doctor Garcia’s Patients) and the supplement La Lectura (Reading) of the newspaper El Mundo. In addition, the LIBER Prize will be presented to the best initiative for the Promotion of Reading in Public Libraries, which has been awarded to the Madrid City Council's Public Library Network. A prize will also be awarded to the most outstanding Spanish-American author and a publisher will be honoured for their career in the world of books. These awards will be announced in the near future.

About LIBER 2023

The 41st LIBER fair is specially designed to bring together a broad representation of publishing companies and organisations, distributors, literary agents, multimedia, suppliers, professional associations, service companies, etc., making it a comprehensive showcase of current publishing production and a centre of attraction for authors, booksellers, illustrators, and other players in the sector.

Organised by IFEMA MADRID and promoted by the Spanish Federation of Publishers' Guilds, LIBER 2023 is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, ICEX Spain Export and Investment, the Regional Government of Madrid, Madrid City Council and the Spanish Centre for Reprographic Rights (CEDRO). It also enjoys the collaboration of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and the Madrid Publishers' Association.