Son[i]a #162 Antonio Ramírez
La Central bookshop in Barcelona's calle Mallorca first opened its doors in March 1999. Antonio Ramírez, Marta Ramoneda and Maribel Guirao opted for an alternative model of bookselling based on an ample catalogue specialising in humanities, as well as the constant building of links and interests with a community of readers.
According to Antonio Ramírez, 'a bookshop is defined as much for the books it doesn't stock, as for the ones that it does'. At that time, important changes in the world of publishing were on the horizon, particularly related to the arrival of the digital book. The creators of La Central understood that expansion would be vital to ensure survival.
They now have a total of eight shops in Barcelona and Madrid. Five of them are based at cultural institutions, with the MACBA becoming the first museum that the bookshop collaborated with in 2005. Using this network of associations, La Central has expanded its field of action, increased it focus on the humanities and strengthened its role as a cultural mediator.
SON[I]A speaks with Antonio Ramírez about the origins of La Central, the relationship of the bookshop with the museum and the complex situation that bookshops face in times of economic crisis and digital revolution.