Madrid celebrates International Book Day

Hanging from street lamps and bookstores, staying open until the wee hours next week, books will be everywhere as the Madrid region celebrates International Book Day.

More than 600 writers, musicians and artists will join in next Monday's festivities, which feature 350 events such as round-table discussions, lectures and poetry readings, said Santiago Fisas, cultural affairs director for the Madrid regional government.

Public libraries and a total of 120 bookstores across the region will extend their hours to bring readers and authors together.

Spanish poet Antonio Gamoneda, recipient of the 2006 Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor, will meet with high school and university students.

Fuencarral Street in downtown Madrid will be decked out with hanging books of poetry so pedestrians are surrounded by verse, Fisas said.

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