In Lisbon’s Chiado district, on Rua do Alecrim, 44 years ago Tarcísio Trindade gave vent to his love for books and opened the book shop “Livraria Campos Trindade”. The shelves were inhabited by rare, old and unique books. There were also some white whales: the first edition of “Peregrinação” by Fernão Mendes Pinto or „Don Quixote” by Cervantes.
Tarcísio had a good eye for books, it must be admitted, in 1965 at the Feira de Rastro in Madrid, he came across the „Tratado de Confissom”: the work from 1489 that turned out to be the oldest known print in Portuguese. Bernardo, son of Tarcísio, from an early age visited the bookstore where he soaked up the bibliophilic atmosphere. When an illness prevented his father from continuing working, Bernardo took the fate of Livraria Campos Trindade into his own hands with zeal and love.
When I was a student I was passing many times in front of the book shop window with the mysterious inscription “alfarrabista”. Back then I was writing my master’s thesis on Portuguese azulejos tiles in Brazil. I was literally staring all moony-eyed at the volume “Oceanos. Azulejos, Portugal e Brasil” with a beautiful blue and white cover laying on the exposition. The price of 40 euros was too high for a student’s pocket then.
Unfortunately, Lisbon’s astronomical rental prices have also reached the 44-year-old bookstore. It is not the end, as announced the owner who is looking for a new address to move the family business. In the last days of the bookstore on Rua do Alecrim 44, Bernardo Trindade appealed: “Encham-me a montra com flores” (“Fill my shop window with flowers”) in order to honor 44 years of history of this extraordinary antiquarian bookshop, which will remain deep in the hearts of the Lisboners (and at least one Polish girl).
Various personalities appeared in the antique shop over the years, in the recent days the Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa appeared to say goodbye and wish a good luck.
As the Portuguese say, instead of “goodbye”, “até já” (see you later) which sounds so much better.