Note: This interview is part of a series focusing on the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
SCBWI Assistant International Adviser Angela Cerrito talks with Nicoletta “Nico” Maldini, a partner in the Libreria Trame Bookstore in the heart of Bologna, Italy.
Tell us about Liberia Trame, what inspired you to open the bookstore?
I started working in a bookstore since 1990, after my second degree in liberal arts and many years in my father’s menswear store.
After working at three different companies, I decided to start a new business, together with two friends. I opened Trame in December 2005; it’s an independent bookstore with a selection of books for children and adults, open Mondays to Saturdays, and all December Sundays.
The SCBWI community recognizes Liberia Trame for the SCBWI dance parties during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. What other events do you offer at the store?
We love our common SCBWI Biennial Dance party, but you are correct we have much more going on at Trame’s.
In 2017, we had 120 events in the store, mostly book signing with authors, and conferences about new books, novels, poetry or essays, and sometimes classics.
We also hosted seven exhibitions, photographs, or illustrations.
We have a resident reading group and collaborate with three more. Also, we collaborate with cultural associations and Bologna University. Last year, we supported with books or press conferences more than 80 events out of the store.
One of the many successes of Libreria Trame is the sense of community. Your newsletter promotes events bringing together people from literature, drama, all areas of the arts and politics. How have you managed to attract such a diverse group of patrons to the store?
I’ve always liked the opportunity to offer different occasions of encounters. I’ve been working for a public radio for more than 20 years, and I’ve just started, with a bunch of friends, a new web radio called Neu Radio. Books offer so many ideas and people like to join together for a good conversation and a glass of wine.
What advice do you have for anyone considering opening a bookstore in their home town?
Maybe I would suggest first to check if it’s possible to cooperate with an existing one, it being not an easy moment to start a new business. And to study deeply the location and the relation with the scholastic community, starting from children and families as these customers could guarantee a better life for the store.
|Nico has always loved books|
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I like cinema and music, classical jazz and rock. And, of course, I’m an early reader; I started at three and never stopped.
I’m a good eater, which being Italian is quite common, too.
Born in Bologna, she is a traveler and a book lover.
Angela Cerrito is an author and playwright.
Her latest novel, The Safest Lie (Holiday House, 2015) was named a Notable Social Studies Book for Young People by the National Council for the Social Studies, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book from the Association of Jewish Libraries, and received SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award.