Next Sunday, April 23rd worldwide readers have a highlighted appointment on their calendar: El Día del Libro (The World Book Day). Since 1995, the UNESCO organizes this event to promote reading and publishing industry.
How can you celebrate this day? Well, you can buy a rose and give it as a present to your girlfriend and she can give a book to you, as people do in Catalonia; maybe you can read “Hamlet” or some chapters of “Don Quijote” in order to honor the memory of Shakespeare and Cervantes, who both died on this date.
We’ve talked lots of times about this event on www.spanishviaskype.com but today we’re going to approach it from a different point of view.
We don’t want to talk about writers nor celebrations on this date. Today, el libro is the protagonist; so, let’s respect that.
What are the parts of a book named in Spanish?:
- La cubierta: it’s the cover of a book. That part which is touched by the reader for the very first time, and it will be in contact with you for a lot of hours.
- La sobrecubierta: the cover’s cover… This modern childproof, dustproof and hand sweatingproof part kills the elegance of the cover. However, tell me the truth, do you remove it after you buy the book? Me neither.
- La solapa: yes, that fold part of the sobrecubierta where you can see the smiling writer’s face, his or her biography and maybe the rest of wonders they have written.
- La portada: it’s the part where el título (the title) is. It’s the best bait for readers to buy this book. Big letters, beautiful colors and intriguing pictures delight compulsive shoppers.
- El lomo: the spine of the book, Here the title is often shown and it’s a quick visual reference in our bookshelf to find our daily prey.
- La contraportada: the back cover. What can we find here…? Actually, padding: some kind of plot, critic reviews (of course, all positive) or other kind of information.
- La hoja: Each piece of paper you have to turn hundred of times or maybe just a few times before you die (take a look at “the name of the rose” by Umberto Eco).
- La página: each of two sides of every sheet. Always full of letters. Well, always? Not really. Who knows why there are some blank pages at the beginning and the end of the book. Might they hide a secret message? Is it a way to feed our expectations? These ones are called guardas and, of course, I was joking, they have a technical reason to be there. Nevertheless, I hate them.
- La portadilla: the page of the book where the publisher repeats again and again the title of the book, the writer’s name, and some other information. Are trees maybe endless?
If you are searching for a site to learn Spanish via Skype, think that it’s similar to read a book: don’t only trust la portada, open it and read las páginas; even look for user’s comments on the web. If you finally want to take a free trial lesson, click here; you will enjoy the reading and learning of Spanish language.
Image: Der moderne Buchdruck by Lienhard Schulz (Wikipedia).