Tavira book fair    

In its continuing efforts to promote culture in general, and reading in particular, Tavira, the gem of the eastern Algarve, hosted its 11th annual book fair recently. As an attendee, I look forward to this fair every year as it seems to bring the whole town together in such a state of convivial wonder at the sheer volume and variety of books that are available. The booksellers offer fantastic discounts and I doubt anyone leaves the fair empty handed. Each year, a new generation of readers is seduced by the allure of books.

For the first time this year, I had the opportunity to observe this phenomenon from the other side of the counter. A Lura dos Livros made a respectable showing for a small, independent bookshop. I spent hours every night introducing myself and selling my wares to those Tavirenses, who still think of me as the foreign bookseller, as well as to all those vacationers who make Tavira their holiday home.

I was delighted to host a book signing for two local authors: Sheila Watts was on hand to sign copies of her popular book Practical Portuguese and to speak with people about her experiences learning the language and how she came to write this very helpful book.Nico Boer and Andrea Siebert were also present to sign their beautiful book The Algarve Fish Book, the long awaited English language version of Fische der Algarve.

And now, after this burst of activity, I am taking a bit of time off to rest, visit my family in the States and, of course, to stock up on new and interesting books for the shop, all second-hand. My right-hand gal, Sandra Pereira, will be holding the fort in my absence. During this time, August 20 through September 20, A Lura dos Livros will be open mornings only, from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, and Saturdays as normal, from 10am to 3pm.

Elizabeth Beaupied