What is a book worth? The answer to this question is, like most things, relative… A project called 1010 Ways to Buy Without Money will see stalls ‘selling’ books for a variety of prices, set either by the organizers or by the donors of the books. These might involve taking snacks to the office for colleagues, or creating a photo diary, drawing a self-portrait, or more practically, donating clothes, blood and even organs. The one thing they all have in common is they can’t involve the exchange of money.
The initiative is now entering its fifth year and has spread around the world, with events held from London to Georgia, Madrid to Montevideo and Romania. It is now a participatory project in which anyone can create their own book fair of the same style – the organisers provide materials, information and advice, as long as some guidelines are followed, such as adhering to the no-money approach and creating a Facebook event. This year, in addition to Barcelona, individuals are already organising events in four Brazilian cities, the Californian town of Bishop, the Colombian city of Barranquilla, Montevideo in Uruguay, the Ecuadorian city of Santo Domingo and Ciudad Real, in Spain.