Orellana [valparaíso]

Published on June 28th of 2014 by Álvaro Bisama and Julia Ostmann in Shelf Love.

Álvaro Bisama
translated by Julia Ostmann

My favorite bookstore is a ghost bookstore. It was called the Orellana and was located in the center of Valparaíso. It closed a couple of years ago. It just couldn’t hold out anymore. Its owners were an old couple that had been there since the mid-’50s or ’60s. He was tall and thin; she was tiny and wore thick glasses.

I never knew their names.

My grandmother had kept an account at the bookstore ever since it opened. My grandmother read a lot: in the house where I grew up, my parents’ books were mixed with hers. That library formed or deformed me. Many of those volumes came from the Orellana, easy to recognize thanks to a stamp on the first page. When my parents got paid at the end of the month, they would give … Read More »

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