April 23 is UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day when literature and literacy is celebrated around the globe. This year, this special day will have a strong rare book flavour thanks to more than a dozen pop-up book fairs organised by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB).
Locations are still being added to the list but so far you will be able to visit pop-up book fairs in London, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), Sydney, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Moscow, Tokyo, Milan, Zurich, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and The Hague.
Support ILAB’s pop-up book fairs on April 23
There are also book fairs set to appear in smaller towns and cities such as Lund in Sweden, the Western Australian communities of Hamilton and Dunkeld, Haarlem and Groningen in the Netherlands, Lucca in Tuscany, and Konigstein in Germany.
What is most appealing about this initiative is that rare books are being brought to the people and displayed in places that are often quite different to traditional antiquarian bookshops.
For instance, the Dunkeld event is being held in an historic woolshed – a most appropriate venue considering sheep outnumber humans in this part of the world. In Groningen, an entire street – Folkingestraat – is being turned into a book fair for the day. This famous street includes about 50 shops and a beautiful synagogue.
The booksellers at each venue will be collecting financial donations on behalf to UNESCO’s South Sudan Literacy Project. A donation of $3 sends one book to a child in South Sudan, $15 US purchase a set of 12 school books for a classroom, and $500 provides 45 school book collections for a rural community.
On April 23, AbeBooks will join ILAB is promoting pictures, video and news from these events on our blogs and social media.
The list of venues goes on and on….
In Sydney, Australia, you will be able to see a Shakespeare First Folio at the pop-up fair at the State Library of New South Wales.
In Portland, Oregon, ILAB dealers Elisabeth Burdon, Nat Des Marais, Philip Pirages, and Charles Seluzicki will be offering books in a pub called Lucky Lab on Hawthorne Boulevard. Books and beer sounds like the ideal combination.
While in Munich, you can read and gamble at Kaufmanns Casino, which will host around15 antiquarian booksellers from Bavaria. In Konigstein, the auction house Reiss & Sohn is hosting a fair.
In Tokyo, a pop-up fair occurs at the World Antiquarian Book Plaza where 22 antiquarian booksellers from 11 countries share a common space.
In Russia, there will be free book appraisals from sellers at the Moscow State University of the Printing Arts.
In Zurich, there will be a pop-up fair at August Laube Rare Books on the bank of the River Limmat. In Italy, Lucca’s fair can be found in Corte del Biancone and in Milan at Biblioteca Chiesa Rossa. In Vienna, ILAB President Norbert Donhofer will host a fair on the roof terrace of his new shop on Taborstrasse 64/Top 18.
In Budapest, Hungarian booksellers will hold a pop-up fair at the Institute Cervantes. In Holland, you can see antiquarian booksellers and their books in Haarlem central station – catch your train, pick up a book.
In Antwerp’s harbor, you can browse books at Bibliotheek Permeke from Belgian booksellers. In London’s Middle Temple Library, there will be a pop-up fair close to Fleet Street, The Strand and Embankment.
Chicago’s fair can be found in the Cliff Dwellers Club which overlooks Lake Michigan. Lund’s book fair in Sweden is dedicated entirely to pop-up books.
Visit the ILAB site for details as more venues are still being added.
This page details the four methods in which you can make a donation to UNESCO’s literary project in South Sudan.