Gift books: a bike cart invites you to exchange titles in a Buenos Aires square

While the pandemic forces to seek refuge in the open air, the squares are installed as territory for cultural activities and in this range original initiatives arise, such as the bike-bookstore “Pedaleo”, a project that promotes the exchange and gift of books in a square in the porteño neighborhood of Villa Urquiza and that seeks to promote interest in reading by generating other meeting points with books.

Every weekend from 5 pm to 8 pm in the Buenos Aires Plaza Zapiola, located in Donado and Echeverría, a bike-cart displays a suggestive poster: “Free books.” There several books that were donated await new readers. They wait to be given away, to be read again. “With Pedaleo we seek to generate encounters with books, encounters with stories, encounters with new people and places”, the architect of the initiative defines in dialogue with Télam.

Behind Pedaleo is Cindy Rozental, a young reader, who always liked to read but whose habit was enhanced by the pandemic. “Last year I had a very strong reconnection with reading during all the months that we were home without going out and that was one of the main triggers that gave rise to Pedaleo”, confides the creator of the initiative, who to carry out the project She had the help of her boyfriend Diego and her friend Melanie.

“The idea arose from the thought that nowadays the people who enter a bookstore are people who already have the habit of reading acquired and that to get other people to acquire it as well, a good way could be to bring books closer to And taking advantage of the fact that at this time the square became ‘the meeting place’ chosen by the majority, we decided to build a bike-cart, fill it with books and try to go to the square to see what would happen, “he says.

“In a couple of weeks we got the bicycle,” he explains, “and with the help of my brother-in-law we set up the shelves for the books, we put on Instagram that we were looking for book donations and in two days we had the living room at home full of boxes. That’s where we found out. that there are many books that people no longer read and that if we create space it is possible to circulate them so that other people can read them “.

For this reason Pedaleo does not sell books, it gives them away. “Anyone can come and take one or more books and anyone can bring those that they no longer read. The idea is that the exchange is generated, however it is not a necessary condition to leave a book to take another,” explains Rozental and says that a From the diffusion that they had in networks, the project began to grow and more and more people are approaching the square with books to exchange.

“The response we had was very nice from the first moment, people are very grateful to have that space and to have the opportunity to access books that they otherwise could not access. There are many who are still surprised when we tell them that they can take the books without leaving / paying anything in return and it takes a while to understand that they are 100 percent free, “he says.

Pedaleo has been in the Plaza Zapiola in Villa Urquiza for five editions and hopes “in the future to have more bicycles to make the project grow” and to start visiting other squares and neighborhoods. For now, next Saturday it will have a new edition and all the news can be followed through its Instagram @pedaleo_libros. (Télam)

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