EFEBy Ricardo Maldonado Rozo Cartagena, Colombia

Desperate booksellers in this tourist city on Colombia's Caribbean coast have launched an initiative aimed at alleviating their dire economic situation, temporarily accepting food and other supplies as payment for their second-hand titles.

Those retailers say they are experiencing a complicated crisis and have taken this drastic measure because fewer and fewer people are buying physical books and they sometimes go weeks without making a single sale.

William Correa, a member of the Cartagena Booksellers' Association and owner of one of the 29 book kiosks in this colonial city's Centenario Park, told Efe that his business has been hit hard both by the pandemic and the near-total replacement of physical books by e-books.