Exclusive interview with owner Gabriele

1. Tell us about your background and experiences in the world of books

I studied the History of Art and while I was studying at university I started to get involved in publishing in Turin, Italy, where I grew up. But it was in Valencia that I first started to work in a bookshop and I realized that it was the first job that I really enjoyed doing. The door of a bookshop is often a filter and whoever passes that barrier is almost certainly somebody who has a curiosity about the world around them. Working with people who read is the real joy of this job, where every day you are confronted with and learn something new. After working in the first bookshop, I had to work in various jobs like a pizza parlour, tour guide and as a telephone operator but finally I decided to open my own bookshop: El Doctor Sax!

2. Could you describe what can be found at your bookstore

The libreria is designed as if it were a bookshop in San Francisco of the Beat Generation era, re-interpreting the idea of Beat; Beat is the literature that broke the rules and went against the thinking of the conservative epoch it was created in. The idea is to create a “wow!” factor with the reader. We look for new and second hand books, selected title by title, and we try offer the cheapest price possible. In the bookshop, you can also find a series of gadgets, the majority handmade, as well as originally designed-by-the-shop T-shirts, vinyl records, second hand clothes, postcards, pens, rarities. It’s like the concept of ‘Wunderkammer’ or a ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’, as the English would say.

3. Is the digital world taking over or are we always going to appreciate books in a physical format?

No, in my opinion digital books exist as a resource for reading. In this sense, I am completely in favour of digital as I am also a digital reader. It is very useful to consult a doctoral thesis from an American University on a beach in Valencia, it is something that I think is incredible and one of the few positive things of the digital revolution. Physical books and eBooks are 2 different mediums, just as watching a film in the cinema is different from a pirated film streamed on your personal computer. It’s clear that the digital revolution will continue to have an effect on the entire publishing world but I am actually not too pessimistic about the situation! For example, we use the platform of Amazon and we have our own publishers via ‘publishing on demand’ included classic literature of the bohemian & gothic eras, distributed all over the world and published in four different languages. Go to Amazon and look for “El Doctor Sax” and see what you can find to your taste.

4. How do you find Spain as a place to live and work?

These last few years in Spain, with the crisis, have been very difficult but I believe that finally things are slowly but surely starting to improve. I am not going to say that it is a paradise or that it is hell living and working here but every day you have to prove yourself. Being a foreigner, I have always felt that I have had to push myself that bit more. However, at the same time, I am also very grateful to this city for two things especially. Firstly, I feel very at home here and, perhaps most importantly, Valencia has given me the opportunity to open El Doctor Sax Bookstore & Publishers!



EL Doctor Sax (Beat & Books)
Calle Quart 21, 46001
Zona Carmen
Monday to Wednesday: 11:00 – 14:30 18:00 – 21:30
Thursday-Friday: 11:00 – 14:30 18:00 – 22:00
Saturday-Sunday: 12:00 – 14:30 18:00 – 22:00

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