Selling second-hand books in any language as a means to help others

  • Joan Bagur, founder of Llibre Solidari Association

    Joan Bagur, founder of Llibre Solidari Association

  • Llibre Solidari storehouse in Barcelona

    Llibre Solidari storehouse in Barcelona

  • Llibre Solidari logo

    Llibre Solidari logo

Joan Bagur was a business person all his life. Soon after he retired, he was diagnosed his cancer. That day the bad news arrived, he promised himself something: “if I survive, I’ll start a nonprofit organization”. 

Joan Bagur survived cancer and he launched his nonprofit when he was eighty years old. When he was younger, his business was about book and magazine distribution. Nowadays, his nonprofit’s name is Llibre Solidari (“solidary book”, in Catalan), and its aim is to help elders and families who go through economic difficulties. According to Joan Bagur, "an NGO doesn't differ from a business when it comes to management: you need a treasurer, and a manager". 

Llibre Solidari works as it follows: volunteers take second-hand books and they sell them for no more than 4 euros in some Barcelona metro stations. Most of the books cost 1 euro, and you can find both modern and old second-hand books in German, in English, in Catalan, Spanish, French, Italian and more. The offer is wide, especially in big stands like the one there is inside of Catalunya Square metro station, in the center of Barcelona.

The benefits from the book sales go straight to elders who can’t afford to buy fresh food or who have troubles paying the rent. Volunteers actually go with those elders to the supermarket. Besides, the people who have to stand in the metro to sell the books are offered money for their time: they work like open air book salesmen and saleswomen. 

This project is possible thanks to networking. As Joan Bagur states, Llibre Solidari Association is “a complement of nonprofit projects like Càritas and Bancs dels Aliments (another Catalan volunteer initiative which gathers free food for those who can’t pay for it), and he stresses that his second-hand book association works hand in hand with social assistants, who generally tell the association’s workers about families who are in need.  

"Unfortunately, we can't reach as many people as we would like to reach", says Joan Bagur. 

Add new comment

Plain text

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.