The bookshop Il Pensiero Meridiano by Chiara Condò is located in via Indipendenza in Tropea, it bears its destiny in the name of the street where it is based! I have never had the pleasure of knowing Chiara personally, but thanks to facebook I follow her work, I read what happens to her in the bookstore and I share her ideas.
The beginning of his adventure as an independent bookseller has something magical about it. He inherited the honor and the burden of recommending stories in Tropea, where most people believe you only live in the summer.
As Franco Cassano wrote in the book, published by Laterza and of the same name in Chiara’s library,
Meridian Thought : It is necessary to restore to the South the ancient dignity of the subject of thought, to interrupt a long sequence in which it was thought only by others. The meridian thought is, first of all, a reformulation of the image that the South has of itself: no longer a degraded periphery of the ’empire’, but a new center of a rich and multiple identity, authentically Mediterranean.
If you go to Calabria, go and see her, I’ll do it too!
Welcome to Chiara Condò and her “meridian thought”.
Here is his Identikit!
What did you do in your “previous life”?
I’ve always been a bookseller, I’ve never done any other work. After high school I enrolled in European literature for publishing in Pisa, and at the same time I started working in the small bookshop in my country.
When did you decide to join the crazy world of books?
It was the bookseller I worked for that did it for me: before leaving forever, she decided to leave the task of continuing her business to me. So after closing the old bookshop I reopened not far away, with a new name and a new place, returning definitively to Tropea.
What’s the question customers should never ask you?
The one I regularly listen to every evening: “does it close in winter?” . There is a widespread opinion, obviously almost always motivated, that Tropea is a seasonal playground, without inhabitants or interests. The fact that eighty percent of businesses close in winter is not good for the country’s economy, and for this reason the lights in my bookshop will have to shine even brighter on a bare, winter Independence street.
And what is the thing that pleases you most they tell you?
It fills me with pride when customers say it shows that every book has been carefully chosen. Because yes, it’s the truth: the place is very small and the assortment has been carefully chosen, keeping in mind the many interests of my catchment area.
The strangest request that was made of you?
To take a book in the window (which we had in the window, but from the old library and about two years ago).
The first book you read?
The Tales of the Forest by Horacio Quiroga, Editori Riuniti. A retirement gift from my second grade teacher: a book of primeval and beautiful magic.
I know it’s difficult, but if I asked you for a podium, what would be the 3 books you would tell me?
Three books that I hardly leave my podium:
1) The English patient, Michael Ondaatje
2) The Cinnamon Shops, Bruno Schulz
3) Private Renaissance, Maria Bellonci
If you could submit a request to those in charge of supporting and helping libraries, what would you ask?
Greater discounts and a deeper recognition of our work. We would do a lot more (and do better) if we could act with more breath and calm, without the frustration of seeing every effort bounce off a rubber wall.
Which book would you recommend instead?
I have many that I am fond of, but today I recommend Panorama by Tommaso Pincio (NNE): a beautiful reflection on reading, the virtual world, absolute passions.
Digital book, true enemy of paper?
Not at all: digital is an option, an alternative to a practical need. The future is all between the pages of a book: we have and will always need our emotions to a concrete object, a vehicle that we can perceive with all our senses. And the paper book is the perfect tool.
Is there a bookseller next door that you recommend I contact?
Rosaria Marracino: she doesn’t have her own bookshop, but she is the best children’s bookseller I know.
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