The league of books

3 min

This is the week of books, but football has been all over the front pages. This is what reality is like. Books get one day a year, and (men's) football, the whole season. We don't need to be surprised about this. Reading doesn't make us wiser, better or freer. There is a considerable list of imbeciles who have a vast library. What we need to worry about are the economic and social priorities. What's regrettable is that so many people don't publicly throw their hands up in the air about football wiping out everything else and becoming a matter of state. What has been said these days is as delirious as ever. Not that it's surprising because we're already surprised. But we have not yet come out of a pandemic that has left millions of deaths and thousands of consequences and football goes over everything like the economic steamroller that it is. With those values that football clubs pretend to have, when in reality they are essentially bastions of machismo and homophobia, of competitiveness as a stimulus to sacrifice and of demanding. It is not a question of criticising a sport or how everyone chooses to evade the everyday. Escape routes are inscrutable. It is about reflecting and thinking about why they have this preference and who sustains it. Who dominates football, with what objectives and that if Florentino Pérez considers that he has to save football so that in 2024 it will not be dead, maybe it is not such a bad idea to let it die. We remember that his Castor project not only caused earthquakes in Terres del Ebre but we are paying for them. I have always distrusted saviours. But let's get back to books, it's Sant Jordi's week. Once a year. Despite the fact that this is once again a substitute for the festival that used to brighten up our day and our streets. One day this mediocrity will go away.

We read because we like it, because we find refuge in it and even hope. We read books that say they are good but don't seem so to us, books that are short and books that are very long. We read and underline and read diagonally. We open books and leave a bookmark for who knows how many years. We take titles back and forth for a weekend knowing we won't even take them out of the bag, but just in case. We sniff the pages of paper to take us away and even back to where we've been, to what we know. To company. To voices. For everything we have thought while reading and after reading a book. For everything that will bring us back just by looking at the spine. They are not for quick consumption no matter how fast we read them. Books remind us of how we lose our memory and, at the same time, they transport us back in time, like music, with all its memories. We caress picture books as if they let us touch a painting in a museum. We hoard treasures even if we live in cramped apartments. But books are not only emotional. They are also practical. Bookcases help to muffle the noise of the neighbours, fat volumes help to elevate your laptop so you don't end up destroying what little straight back you have left. Books have been seen wedging a table and acting as a prop to hold the phone while someone does an Instagram Live. It slips and falls. The mobile phone.

Books don't make noise. This Sant Jordi is also expected to be pretty quiet. We still have to go through the world in order. A little less than last year, when we mourned indoors and the roof fell in on us, even if we could have smelled a rose. Last year, for a few days, there wasn't even any talk of football.

Natza Farré is a journalist