The urban environment changes every April 23, Book Day. Book stalls fill the streets and numerous initiatives to promote reading come to light. In many places, the volumes are accompanied by roses.
Among flowers and bookstores there are other types of proposals, such as the exchange of books for food in Mallorca, which combines reading and solidarity with the families most affected by the coronavirus crisis, or the replacement of international authors – who this year cannot travel due to the pandemic – with robots that will dedicate books in his name.
Inside this tidal wave of initiatives is found ‘Smells like a book‘. This small company was founded just over half a year ago by Pedro, Juan, David, Carmen and Alicia, five university students who, on any terrace in Madrid, came up with the idea of creating a custom literary subscription model.
“Although there are quite a few subscriptions related to reading, they are all based on the fact that you receive the same book as everyone else”, comments Alicia, who adds that, in her opinion, “they are very expensive”: “We didn’t want to create something that we couldn’t afford ourselves more than a month-long whim. “
Thus arose ‘Huele a libro’, whose name refers to a phrase repeated by the defenders of paper versus digital, to whom this project is directed. Month by month, those who decide to subscribe to this initiative receive a package at home that not only includes the volume that this company chooses for each of them -a different one for each subscriber according to their responses to a form that they fill out as soon as they become customers-.
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To the pack, these five friends incorporate some surprises that vary in each shipmentsuch as a poem by a little-known author, bookmarks that can be planted, or lists of songs to listen to while reading, for the perfect reading atmosphere.
Recover the love of reading
And it is that ‘It smells like a book’ seems to want to regain people’s love of reading. In particular of those who, like them, were very readers during adolescence, but they were putting aside this hobby as time passed and they began their career in the academic and work world.
Through books that they rescue from bookstores that need to release stocks, from libraries that must dispose of volumes that are no longer requested or from people who renew their personal collection, try to offer new experiences to their subscribers. But how do you know what you might like? “Trial and error,” Alicia responds, indicating that they take into account the age of the person, their favorite literary genres, or what kind of literary character they would be.
In the end, the goal is to “give a new sustainable life to books” through a project that, therefore, thinks both about the environment and about taking books off the shelves to make their pages turn again.