ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 1 Issue 3
Cover Date: September 2014
Spaces for reading, a cartography of used books in urban Latin America
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Authors:  Marcy Schwartz 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.1.3.417_1

Latin American urban space,books and reading,consumer culture,Buenos Aires,Mexico City,community libraries

This article explores the spatial dimensions of used books in Latin American cities. Used books are sold in shops and on the street, recirculated in public book exchanges, and collected in small neighbourhood libraries. Public parks, art installations and even novels feature used books prominently. The routes and itineraries of used books map an alternative consumer culture that challenges or defies the neo-liberal economy that has dominated the region for several decades. Whether through grass-roots solidarity initiatives or broad-based municipal programming, used books occupy Latin American cities and reveal a persistent culture of the book in the region. The article offers examples of used book sales and circulation in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Lima and New York, and contributes to the current turn in the history of the book towards material culture that examines the process, use and value of the book in its social, cultural, economic and political context.
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