The Pyreneean cow shed that became a bookshop
NaturaLlibres offers more than 1,000 books to town with only 80 inhabitants
For many, lockdown was an opportunity to delve into new hobbies and projects. In Alins, a tiny village in the Catalan Pyrenees, Meritxell Álvarez did just that, converting her family’s old cow shed into a bookshop.
“I felt that there was a need, that there weren’t enough books here” explained Álvarez, and indeed she has delivered.
NaturaLlibres, or Nature Books in English, has more than 1,000 books on offer; a staggering number for a town with only 80 inhabitants.
The shop specializes in titles surrounding nature and the local area of the Pyrenees mountain range and the Pallars, a mountainous territory, which is specifically highlighted in the Km0 section of the store.
As well as this, there are also books on gastronomy, poetry, and children’s literature all tying in to the theme of the flora and fauna that envelops the village.
A new hub of culture
For such a small area, the bookshop has become a haven for neighbors to come and find books that are otherwise difficult to get in the region.
After only being open a few weeks, NaturaLlibres has already attracted a loyal following of book lovers, including Míriam Masramon and Gemma Navàs who both welcomed the opening of the store.
Navàs elaborated that the opening of NaturaLlibres signified more than a new bookshop but rather a center for cultural activities in the town.
In fact, the bookseller is planning to bring even more diversity to their collection. A day celebrating thriller novels is already set and more events like this are in the works for the start of February, if the health situation allows.
These events are already set to be a success with guests such as Javier Cacho, a writer who was one of the first to write about the hole in the ozone layer, and Francesc Bailón, an anthropologist specializing in Inuit culture to name but a few.
Although the inauguration has not been able to take place due to Covid-19 restrictions, Álvarez hopes to be able to do so in March.
Despite this, NaturaLlibres has already attracted some grandiose patrons such as Gabi Martínez, one of the biggest agents for travel literature in Spain and editor Pilar Rubio Remiro.