How two Italian booksellers have adopted the limerick verse

How two Italian booksellers have adopted the limerick verse

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Two enterprising Italian girls have turned the limerick verse into a marketing ploy for their bookshop in Padua.

What is the first thing which comes to mind when you hear the word “limerick”? Perhaps the city you live in, perhaps the short and witty poem.

The limerick is a particular kind of poem, made up by five lines, with a rhyme scheme of AABBA. Its nature is odd, strange, a little bizarre, a nonsense verse.

This is the idea which led two young Italian girls in Padua to name their new bookstore “Limerick”.

Marta Bracciale and Grazia Raimondo met at the University of Padua, and spent many hours talking about a common dream: a little literary coffee shop. It was only an abstract project, until they decided to turn it into something real.

“The limerick is a funny composition, a nonsense. So was opening a bookstore in a moment of cultural and economic crisis.” they said.

In fact, getting their dream off the ground was not easy. Everyone kept telling them that it was a crazy idea to open a bookstore in Italy, in recessionary times. But they didn’t give up, and made this craziness, this nonsense, the central aspect of their project. And, with perfect timing, they happened to read a book of limericks, while they were struggling to find the perfect name for their store.

“Limerick! A curious word to pronounce, ‘danced on your tongue’, for a curious place.”, they added.
In November 2016, Marta and Grazia celebrated the first year of their bookstore, which is a lively centre in the heart of Arcella (PD), a neighbourhood considered off beat and marginal. This is the same neighbourhood in which they lived for more than ten years, and in which they decided to invest, with a great response. The shop is colourful and welcoming. Here you can find books for all ages, and there are many events and workshops.

Naming the store ‘limerick’ proved a witty solution and the perfect name for this small and funny place – just like the poem!


Don’t forget about our ‘Bring your limericks to Limerick’ competition, organised by the Limerick Writers’ Centre!

Click on the link to enter the competition:

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