New English Language Book-Borrowing Service
A couple of years ago, a small number of local anglophones (mostly holiday home owners and some permanent ex-pats) collected and donated a few hundred English language novels. These books were intended to form part of a Sulmona-based initiative to repurpose one of the disused ENEL cabins as a ‘Street Library’.
Sadly, that project never got off the ground and the books were consigned to storage in the Sulmona city ‘archivio’. Recently those books were unearthed and reassigned, courtesy of a local book club, to a different project: another library but this time located in a network of bars.
“The street library is open to everyone and the concept is very simple,” says Michelle Reid, one of the organisers. “Go into one of the bars and take a book to read, whether you are staying in the area as an English speaking tourist or if you live here and like to read in English. Then return the book to any one of the participating bars – it doesn’t have to be the same one that you took it from. Our hope is that by doing so, as well as the joy of having a book to read, people will get to appreciate different areas of the Peligna Valley that they might not otherwise visit, whilst also supporting our local bars“.
The street library was set up in October 2017 and the books are in place. “Although we realise that it is not currently the height of the tourist season, there are plenty of people living in the area who are either English speaking, or learning English, and who would be both interested in and would benefit from the project. We hope to see the project grow steadily over the coming months.”
There are currently seven participating bars, each housing more than thirty books, and the group has hopes of extending it to further bars and cafes in other villages as the book collection grows.
- Bugnara: Bar Gino – Piazza Umberto 1 (main square)
- Introdacqua: Bar Spillo – Piazza G. Mazzini (end of the main street)
- Introdacqua: Nero Caffè – Piazza Cavour
- Sulmona: Gran Caffè Letterario – Piazza XX Settembre (Behind Ovid’s statue)
- Sulmona: Caffè del Gattino al Sole – Viale G. Mazzini (Porta Napoli)
- Pacentro: Bar La Villa – Via San Marco 66 (next to the IP garage)
- Pettorano sul Gizio: Bar Al Cortile – Piazza Zanelli 16 (square by the Comune building)
The books are by a wide selection of well-known authors including:
- John Grisham
- PD James
- Dan Brown
- Tom Clancy
- Judy Astley
- Val McDermid
- Kitty McNeal
- Ian Rankin
- Anna Jacobs
- Karin Slaughter
If you would like to donate a book please write Valle Peligna Book Club on the inside cover and simply leave it on the dedicated shelves.
If you have a larger number of books that you would like to donate please contact Michelle on +39 388 992 5367.