You may not be able to travel this summer, but this week’s Bookspot will transport you onto the streets of Italy. We spoke with Antonio Migliore, Bookseller and Communication Manager of Verso Libri. Verso is a beautiful, comforting store, tucked into a charming street in Corso di Portages Ticinese, Milano, Italy.
How did your bookstore transition from concept to reality?
In 2015 a group of friends, all working in the publishing industry, decided to open a bookshop focusing on independent publishing. They imagined a place that wouldn’t be only a bookshop, but a place that brought together the world of books with social life and culture. So, at the end of 2015 they opened Verso Libri, a two floored bookshop with a bar inside and a room dedicated to children’s books and literature.
What do you feel is unique to your bookstore?
The power to create bonds between people of different ages and status, all passionate about books (but not necessarily!) and beautiful stories.
If you had infinite space, what might you add to the store?
We’d add a selection of international and vintage first editions in their original language.
How do you feel your bookstore fits into your local community?
Every day, before the COVID-19 emergency, we hosted one or more events (book presentations, workshops, and parties as well), so that everyone in the neighborhood could find something in her/his interest.
What does your store offer that a chain or online retailer can’t?
Direct and informal relationships between booksellers and readers/customers.
Do you hand-pick your staff to create a specific environment?
Working for Verso means being passionate about reading and beautiful books, being kind and respectful of different literary tastes and opinions, as well. It’s enough to create a stimulating and specific environment.
What about your store do you think appeals to your neighborhood?
We are open seven days a week, sometimes until 10/11 pm. Verso is a landmark for our neighborhood and for all of those who drop by looking for a good read, something to drink, or just for chatting, all day long.
Do you have any staff picks or releases we should watch out for?
Over on our Instagram and Facebook pages, we have shared reading tips and other interesting stuff about Verso.
Do you tailor your inventory according to your community?
Of course. Sometimes we suggest to our community what to read, sometimes our community asks for what to read and we don’t already have it: it’s a great surprise to discover new authors or new books this way. You feel part of the community, that it’s not only a positive for the customer but a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Is there anything else that you’d like our audience to know?
That’s all :)
What’s your favorite book?
We don’t have a short list, yet!