Baobá Livraria

The traveling bookstore in the Campo de Ourique neighborhood likes to share the pleasure of reading. You may have come across one of the bookstore's storytellers at an event. At Boaba Livraria stories are read, told and shared. We went to meet them to present this store filled with magical books.

Can you introduce us to the store? 

The Baobá bookstore began in 2006, it is the idea of the publisher Orfeu Negro, publisher of illustrated books for adults and children. Calo Liberia had the idea to have an edition for adults and also for children because it was something that was not available at that time in Lisbon. So we started in 2006 and we have grown since then.  

We offer activities every Saturday, such as readings of stories, poems, or exhibitions of illustrations, or even creative workshops. We have a first room for children, a room for teenagers and adults and an international book room with book editions in French, English, Italian and Spanish. 

How do you choose your books?

There are always interesting authors, we are always looking for authors who are not present in other bookstores. As the publisher behind the store, we always look for books with beautiful illustrations. Of course, we also look at the text. We look for works by different authors and in different styles too. Italian illustrated literature has a style that is different from English publishers, who themselves have a style that is different from Spanish publishers. We want this diversity. 

Do you have in your bookstore more or less known authors? 

Sometimes a publisher has something new, we look at it, discover the author and decide to include it in our store. We experiment with an author or publisher and if they do a good job of publishing, we continue with them. 

Do you look more at the story or the illustration? 

When we choose it is often the illustration that captures our curiosity. We like editions with strong images and beautiful stories. 

Is the goal of the store to introduce children to literature?

Certainly and not only literature, the text itself, but also visual literature.

Are events like today's with the storyteller Cláudia Almendra something that really interests you? 

It allows us to promote literature, for a bookstore like us it is very important to promote literature. And I believe that it is part of the store now, of our conception of literature which also passes by the sharing. 

Do you work with authors from Lisbon?

Sometimes we have new products and local authors or illustrators to present their work. Some illustrators or authors come to demonstrate their pencil strokes or their creative methods.

Do you work with schools?

We work with schools and sometimes they come to us. We also intervene directly in the school, we bring an activity to the school. We invite a storyteller and in particular Louise who works at the store, a wonderful storyteller. We intervene according to the wishes of the school, either the teacher wishes to make discover an author, or we bring our selection. 

Do you like to make people discover something else than classics of literature like "Martine", the literary phenomenon for children in France and Belgium? 

Yes, "Martine" is very well known in Portugal too, and we try to "run away" from the classics, we take a different, freer way. We like to escape from the great titles and references for more unknown works, which deserve to be known and discovered. That's why we do several events per month. 

Do you have any authors that you particularly appreciate?

There are many titles that we like to introduce. I think of the book called "Kiosk" translated into Portuguese. It is a book that we like very much, it is full of curiosities. 

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