The Compulsive Reader: Libros en España!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Libros en España!

While in Spain, I had the lovely opportunity to visit a couple of bookstores! It was such a fun experience, and it was really fascinating to see what sort of books were available in their YA sections. I'd say that in all three bookstores I visited, half of the YA selection was by Spanish authors I'd never heard of before, and half were translations by American or British authors. Here are some pictures from the first bookstore I visited in Madrid:

Shiver and Linger! Aren't those covers awesome? Dare I say it, but I think I like them better than the American ones...

And, here's Wake by Lisa McMann. This title, Sueña, means "dream".

Matched! The Spanish title, Juntos, means "together".

Beautiful Creatures! This one and Beautiful Darkness were in every bookstore I went into, and their spines and covers REALLY stood out!

And of course, The Hunger Games and Mockingjay! These books have taken over the world! 

And here are Alyson Noel's books and Ruby Red AND Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier! The fact that Sapphire Blue was available in Spanish and not English is killing me! I almost bought it, but didn't, and now I'm wishing that I had! I really just need it to be translated into English and available for Kindle NOW!

And here are the Vampire Academy books! Yay, Richelle Mead!

A Sarah Dessen book! This Spanish title translates to A Song for You, and the book is This Lullaby. And you can sorta see a House of Night book on the left!

Cassandra Clare's books!

Here's Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, with a Lauren Kate book chilling next to it!

And look what I found in a bookstore window when walking around Salamanca:

It's The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg! I was just randomly walking with some friends when it caught my attention. It was sadly siesta time and the store was closed, but I totally went back that evening to check out the bookstore. I bought a copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Prince of the Mist (El principe de la niebla), which is available here in English, along with its sequel, The Midnight Palace. At the last minute, I decided to get this one as well, but I made the bookstore owner REALLY angry! I had been talking with him about how I was American and from Michigan, and how I wanted to start reading books in Spanish to help me improve. I had read some of Zafon's work before and was really excited to be reading a YA book written first in Spanish. He told me that was the best way to learn, so when I grabbed this book, he got upset because it was a translation, and he insisted that it would be harder for me to read it. I thought he was overreacting a bit, and that he should just be happy I was buying two books and not one. (And let me tell you, those books AREN'T CHEAP.) But, oh well. Turns out he was right. I brought back Shiver (Temblor) as well, and the easiest to read so far is Prince of the Mist, which I haven't even read in English yet--go figure.

I also visited another bookstore in Salamanca, but the owner there DID NOT like the fact that I wanted to sneak some pictures, even after I tried explaining I had a blog about YA books and they were for a blog post. I don't know what he thought I'd do with them! That store was the biggest, but it didn't have quite as many YA books. I noticed Beautiful Creatures, and a copy of If I Stay by Gayle Forman, which was pretty neat.

YA books are kind of expensive there. I brought two paperbacks and a hardcover, and they each cost around 15 to 17 euros, which is approximately $21-$25. Ouch! I don't know how prices compare in other foreign countries, but for foreign YA readers--you have my sympathies! (However, some of you, stop emailing me and begging for illegal digital copies of books--not gonna happen!)

All in all, it was an interesting experience, and I would have loved to have connected with some passionate YA readers from Spain to just talk about YA trends and what's popular over there, but sadly it didn't happen.

I am, however, interested in any recommendations anyone can give me of books written in Spanish that aren't translations. If they're YA, even better. I know of Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Isabel Allende, but sadly that's about it. I have to agree with the bookstore clerk and his assessment that you learn more reading books originally written in the target language, so I definitely want more! Let me know if you know of any in the comments!


(.:~Paula~:.) said...

As a spanish YA reader I have to say I totally agree with you. YA books here are really expensive, that's why I buy the books I like in english, which are sometimes half the price here, and it also helps me with my english.

I think you should try the books written by Laura Gallego, she's quite famous here in Spain, or Carolina Lozano.
One of my favorite is "Dos velas para el diablo" by Laura Gallego.

jayme said...

What a fun post! I love The Lonely Hearts Club cover, and the Sarah Dessen book looked so cute. I remember being in Poland and seeing the Twilight series (only three at the time) for 24 zloty. That's about 13 dollars. Too bad I don't read Polish. It would have been a heck of a deal.

Anonymous said...

This is so cute!
I love bookstores in Spain, I remember I had my jaw to the floor when I visited this really cool - old fashiony-looking bookstore on La Gran Via.

Plus, when I went to spain when I was eighteen, it was Book Week! so all books everywhere had discounts - it was, like by law!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Paula: THANK YOU for the recommendation! I'm about halfway through El principe de la niebla, and I can't say as I understand everything, but I DO know what's going on! I'm excited to read more books in Spanish!

Ally said...

The Sarah Dessen book isn't "Just Listen" is "This lullaby".

Joseph R. said...

Hello from Spain! I love your blog. I read a lot of books in english and you must read in spanish if you want to improve your skills.
YA spanish authors: Maite Carranza, La guerra de las brujas (War of the Witches trilogy); Laura Gallego, Memorias de Idhún (Idhún Chronicles trilogy); Sandra Andrés, El violín negro (Black violin). However, the best is Daniel Hernández Chambers: La ciudad de la bruma (City of mist) y El enigma Rosenthal (Rosenthal enigma), among other books.

Joseph R.

The Compulsive Reader said...

Ally: You're right! I'm always getting Just Listen and This Lullaby mixed up, even in English!

Joseph: Thanks for the recommendations!

Tynga said...

French title in Quebec are really expensive to. I wanted to buy Mortal Instruments for my mom and they cost 30$ each (for trade paperback, not even HC)! It's a total rip off.
Mass Market prices are more reasonable 10 to 15$ but they don,t do YA in MM edition =(

Kyle said...

I lived in Spain for a couple months a few summers ago and while I was there, "The boy in the Striped Pyjamas" was really popular (El Nino con el pijama de rayas). I know it's a translation, but it was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the title of your post.

I also took a few Spanish lit classes in college, but sadly we did not read any YA :-/

Lauren said...

iTiene mucha suerte! I would LOVE to oggle over Spanish books. Thank you for what pictures you could get; it's so cool seeing the difference in covers and titles between languages.