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The association was created in 1977 by a group of Madrid booksellers inspired by the outdoor book stalls in the Cuesta de Moyano street.
Their objective was to take books into the streets and bring culture closer to the people of Madrid. They wanted to reclaim the Paseo de Recoletos as a traditional venue for book fairs, and the space became known for rare and secondhand book fairs over the years.
During the past 43 years, the Asociación de Libreros de Lance de Madrid has published books about Madrid by forgotten author to coincide with the fair. Each year, the fair’s promotional poster is read aloud in the Paseo de Recoletos by a notable figure. Town criers have included Gregorio Marañón, Julio Caro Baroja, Carmen Conde,Camilo José Cela, Rafael Alberti, Francisco Ayala, Francisco Umbral, Emma Cohen, Eduardo Arroyo, Caballero Bonald, Elvira Lindo, Fernando Savater, and Carlos García Alix.
Poster designers have included Antonio Mingote, Ramón Gaya, Rafael Alberti, Julio Caro Baroja, Angelica Kaak, Eduardo Arroyo, Angel Mateo Charris, Javier de Juan, and Ceesepe.
The books that the association has published include El Corral de la Pacheca by Eduardo Sepúlveda, Los toros en Madrid by Pascual Millán, La vida en Madrid en 1887 by Enrique Sepúlveda, El Rastro by Ramón Gómez de la Serna, A sangre y fuego by Manuel Sánchez Nogales, La invención del Quijote by Manuel Azaña, Así fue la defensa de Madrid by General Vicente Rojo, Siete domingos rojos by Ramón J. Sénder, Tea Rooms by Luisa Carnés, La Calle de Valverde by Max Aub, and Juan de Mairena by Antonio Machado.
The last Spring Book Fair in 2019 featured 39 booksellers, including 31 from Madrid, four from Barcelona and further sellers from Seville, Pamplona, Granada and Salamanca.