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Bookselling giants have a new rival: a former factory worker with a 3-wheel car

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By Luca Palamara
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Bookselling giants have a new rival: a former factory worker with a 3-wheel car
Copyright  Luca Palamara
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When the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit Italy last year, Alessandro Minnella was unhappy with the safety measures in the factory where he’d been working for five years.

His solution was radical. He downed tools, quit his job and decided to set up a travelling bookstore.

Asti is a small town in northern Italy and people cannot always find the books they want in proper book shops. So, Alessandro decided to bring literature to the local marketplace in his red three-wheeler.

“I think the open-air market is one of the last truly popular places left,” he says. “People would go to this type of market to buy vegetables, bread and so on. Therefore, I asked myself why not actually bring books to the squares, to put books and essential goods together. ”

Because of the recent restrictions in the region, he cannot go to markets anymore. So, he changed strategy: “Wandering Pages” - offering home delivery or delivery by appointment.

“What is nice is that when people stop by in the market they will not treat me as if I were a normal bookseller. They would suggest some books to me. I am not like ‘yes ok' and that’s it, but I actually write the title down, I look for it and eventually I will include it in my book shop. Let’s say that ‘Wandering Pages’ is a collective enterprise.”