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ILAB Pop Up Book Fair Celebrations on April 23rd

ilab pop up book fair unesco 2016


[bctt tweet=”ILAB Pop Up Fairs are quick events that pop up and are gone…bookish flashmobs – speed dating for book lovers.”]


Mark your calendars for April 23, booklovers! The ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs are quite likely appearing somewhere in your area. From the Giant Ferris Wheel in Vienna’s famous Prater, with a DADA performance in Zurich, at the elegant Grand Palais in Paris, to an ILAB Pop Up Book Street in Groningen, Netherlands, these bookish flashmobs are going to be everywhere.

ilab2What is a Pop Up Fair?

“ILAB Pop Up Fairs are just that, quick events that pop up and are gone. ILAB Pop Up Fairs are bookish flashmobs, simple, spontaneous, cool – speed dating for book lovers.  With their smaller more informal format they are a nimble, interesting and exciting way of presenting antiquarian bookselling in the 21st century, attracting people far beyond the usual book fair visitors to people who haven’t previously been aware of the fascination of old and rare books.

The ILAB Pop Ups are an amazing means to attract younger people, and they are a proof that that ILAB’s motto is still alive: Amor librorum nos unit.” (

Who is ILAB?

The ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) is the umbrella organization of the professional rare book trade uniting 22 national associations and around 2000 rare book dealers in 34 countries worldwide. They organized successful Pop Up Book Fairs last year.

Why are ILAB Booksellers holding Pop Up Book Fairs across the world on April 23, 2016?

Portions of the sales of rare books at the fairs are donated to UNESCO’s Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) which is building literacy across South Sudan. The South Sudanese literacy rates are stark – 70 % of all adults are illiterate and 84 % of women – and a little money goes a long way there.

ILAB booksellers raised over 10,000 Euros at the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day in 2015. That put a notebook and pen in the hands of 500 South Sudanese young people, and also put 1,930 books in 10 centres of the Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.


Here is the list of Pop Up Fairs as of March 31, 2016. For a complete list, visit the official site.


SYDNEY: Books: Still So Much to Learn and Discover – The first ILAB Pop Up Fair on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 will be held at the State Library of New South Wales. Organized by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), Australian booksellers will offer for sale rare, fine and extraordinary books, maps, ephemera and other associated materials on paper. Be there!

DUNKELD and HAMILTON: There are three booksellers far away in the Australian bush who decided not only to join their colleagues at the ILAB Pop Up Fair in Sydney, but also to raise funds for the UNESCO literacy projects in their bookshops at home in the weeks leading up to UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016. So, if you come across an empty bookshelf poster in Dunkeld and Hamilton, Country Victoria, help Roz Greenwood and Marg Phillips of Roz Greenwood Old And Rare Books and Guy Hamilton of Bellcourt Books raise funds to support literacy in South Sudan. And as if this were not enough, they will pack their boxes with beautiful books right in time to travel the long way to Sydney to exhibit at the ILAB Pop Up Fair on 23 April 2016 at the State Library of New South Wales. Bravo!

PERTH: The capital of Western Australia (not Scotland) was originally founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829. In the late 19th century, Perth became famous during the  gold rushes, and in 1962 it gained world renown as the “City of Light” when the inhabitants lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth in his spaceship. Here, in walking distance from the State Library, the Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia the ILAB booksellers of Muir Books and their local colleagues will hold an ILAB Pop Up Fair in the beautiful courtyard in front of their bookshop – in the midst of an abundance of rare and fine books, maps and prints from all centuries. Light a candle for literacy in Perth and fill with the ILAB booksellers worldwide the empty bookshelves for the children in South Sudan by making a donation to UNESCO’s Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI).

CANBERRA: Popping up in VERY unexpected places – on 5 continents, in all languages, bringing the books to the people and fighting for a more literate world. This is ILAB on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2016. One of the most unusual places where ILAB booksellers pop up can be found in Canberra, where the owners at Curves Belconnen help their customer and Australian bookseller Sally Burdon to raise funds for UNESCO’s and Forest Whitaker literacy projects in South Sudan.


TOKYO: At their general meeting in April, shortly before UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Japan and their President will officially launch the ILAB Pop Up Celebrations in Japan.

ALL ACROSS JAPAN: From Tokyo to Kyoto, Sapporo, Osaka and Kumamoto the Japanese rare book dealers will join the great chain of worldwide bookish events on 23 April 2016 by decorating special Pop Up Book Fair Windows with a fine selection of rare books and Empty Bookshelf Posters in their shops to raise money for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan.

TOKYO: The World Antiquarian Book Plaza is located in Tokyo’s city centre, five minutes away from the famous Ginza. The Plaza is a joint venture of Yushodo Ltd. and Michael Steinbach Rare Books and unites the exquisite offers of rare book dealers from Japan, the United States, Australia and Europe. On 23 April 2016, the Plaza will once again be the elegant venue for an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Japan (ABAJ).


SEOUL, PUSAN, DAEGU: Find rare and fine books, get in contact with antiquarian booksellers in Seoul, Pusan and Daegu! For the first time ever, the ILAB dealers in the Republic of Korea will join their colleagues worldwide on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016. Korean booksellers will organize Pop Up Fairs in  prominent places in their capital Seoul as well as in the second biggest Korean city Pusan and in the city of Daegu, which owes the most antiquarian bookshops over there.


MOSCOW: Free Appraisal Day at the Moscow State University of the Printing Arts: bring your books, maps, prints and autographs and learn about their value! And even more: Enjoy a special exhibition and auction of books about books, organized by the Russian antiquarian booksellers at one of the beautiful bookshops in Moscow.


CAPE TOWN:  After the successful launch in 2015,, the online rare book auction platform run by Paul Mills in Cape Town, South Africa, will participate once again in the international 24 hour chain of events organized by ILAB booksellers across the world. In association with publishing house Penguin Random House, will host a talk with Susan Buchanan, author of the recently published “Burchell’s Travels: The Life, Art and Journeys of William John Burchell”, and other experts in the field. Local collectors and botanists, local historians and the general public will be invited and asked to make a donation to support the UNESCO literacy projects.


BARCELONA: A rose for a book – It is a long and good tradition in Barcelona to offer a rose for every book bought on St Jorge’s Day. Coinciding with UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day 2016, ILAB bookseller Albert Casals and his colleagues will pop up at the famous La Ramblas, to show wonderful books, to raise money for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan and to present roses to booklovers.

MADRID: 23 April 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the deaths of two of the world’s greatest poets: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615, Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” is considered one of the most influential works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and as a founding work of modern Western literature. In fact, it is regarded as the first novel ever written. “Don Quixote” was first printed in Madrid by Juan de la Cuesta. At his former house the Spanish booksellers will pop up on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day to present rare and fine editions of Don Quixote along with the crème-de-la-crème of Spanish book history.


ZURICH: For bookish people 2016 is a year to celebrate and to commemorate in many respects. 400 years ago Shakespeare and Cervantes died, and a hundred years ago one of the most innovative artistic movements was brought to light in Zurich: Dada. At the Cabaret Voltaire, where Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp, Hugo Ball, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Marcel Janco and others founded the Dada movement in 1916, the Swiss antiquarian booksellers will gather exactly a hundred years later for an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair on 23 April 2016 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Dada founding with a Dada performance, a presentation of rare first editions and a gorgeous fundraising to fill the Empty Bookshelf Posters as a strong support of literacy worldwide.


MUNICH: “Book Tales & Cocktails” was such a big success on 23 April 2015, that the rare book dealers in Munich and their customers immediately decided to celebrate UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day again in 2016. So, right in the city centre of the Bavarian capital in the rooms of the Kaufmanns Casino, where business men and women have been meeting for conferences and cocktails since 1832, some 15 antiquarian booksellers from Munich and Bavaria will once again show some of their most extraordinary books – with music, drinks, finger food, and a lecture on “Early 20th Century German Publishing” held by the renowned, no: legendary German collector and publisher Klaus G. Saur.


VIENNA: The “Heart of Darkness” lies next to Vienna at Dr. Paul Kainbacher Rare Books on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016. With a Bibliophile Evening dedicated to lectures and books on travel and exploration from Austria into the World the Austrian antiquarian booksellers will launch the ILAB Pop Up Week on 16 April 2016, from 5 to 7 pm. Dr. Paul Kainbacher will invite colleagues and collectors to his bookshop in Baden (Vienna), where Walter Sauer, Professor of Economic and Social History, and Martin Pfitscher, specialist in Ethnology, will talk about famous 19th century travels of Austrian explorers and adventurers to Africa. The evening will close with a book presentation and a fundraising to support the great work of UNESCO’s Forest Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) in South Sudan.

HIGH ABOVE VIENNA: A high-flying book presentation in the Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel  of the world-famous Prater will be one of the ultimate highlights on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016. If you haven’t once in your lifetime taken a ride on the Ferris Wheel and enjoyed the breathtaking views over the roofs of Vienna, this is your time for an amazing experience. On 23 April, from 10 am to noon, the members of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association will take you on a trip high above Vienna while offering rare and fine books in one of the wheel cabines and raising money to buy school books for the children in South Sudan. And who knows? Maybe Orson Welles’ Third Man will be there, listening to the famous zither tunes by Anton Karas.


BUDAPEST: 2016 – the year of the book, the year of Cervantes. Hungarian booksellers will hold an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair at the Institute Cervantes: the perfect venue for a bookish event on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 which marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. Support literacy, enjoy an exclusive “Don Quixote” exhibition at the Institute named after its famous author, admire the bibliophile treasures and have a chat with the Hungarian booksellers!


PARIS: On 23 April 2016 there will be one really big event  – in Paris in the elegant surroundings of the Grand Palais!  French antiquarian booksellers who are members of Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) will join in ILAB’s worldwide celebrations on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016 by granting free entry to the Salon International du Livre rare & de l’Autographe on 23 April. In exchange fair visitors will be invited to donate some money in support of UNESCO’s South Sudan literacy project. Inside the Grand Palais, the French booksellers will celebrate William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes with an impressive exhibition.

PARIS, GRAND PALAIS: Throughout the elegant Parisian Book Fair, ILAB President Norbert Donhofer, Michael Steinbach, President of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (VAO), and many other ILAB booksellers will set up the Empty Bookshelf Posters in their own stands to raise funds for the UNESCO literacy South Sudan projects and to say: Wherever we are, we are a part of it. Amor librorum nos unit. The world of books unites us, on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2016, and every  every other day, as long as we read and love books.  A fitting and elegant contribution to the world celebration of books and literacy from booksellers in UNESCO’s home town!


AMSTERDAM: One of the most beautiful and lively cities in Europe, Frank Rutten, Sascha Kok and the Amsterdam booksellers will organize a “UNESCO Night of the Books”, with music and theater – bookish entertainment at its best!

HAARLEM, founded in 1245, has been the historical centre of the tulip bulb-growing district for centuries and bears the nickname “Bloemenstad” (flower city). Since the Middle Ages, Haarlem, which lies on a thin strip of land above sea level known as the “strandwal” (beach ridge), is one busiest and richest places in the Netherlands. On UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016 Dutch booksellers will hold a Pop Up Book Market on Kruisstraat 3 in the historical centre of Haarlem, next to the city Kruispoort which was blown up by the Haarlem inhabitants in 1573 in their battle against the Spanish. Meet the Dutch booksellers there on 23 April from 2 to 5 pm, enjoy their wonderful array of rare and fine books and fill the empty bookshelves for the children in South Sudan by donating money for the UNESCO literacy projects.

GRONINGEN: Antiquariat Isis is the only ILAB affiliate and member of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (NVvA) in that area, but instead of thinking “there is only one of us and nothing can be done”, Lyseth Belt and Theo Butterhof, with the support of their local community, will once again organize a rather special Pop Up celebration of UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day at Folkingestraat in Groningen. Before the Second World War Folkingestraat with the beautiful Synagogue was the heart of the Jewish community. Today it is a lively and busy quarter of Groningen, full of small and independent shops, full of bookish and cultural events, and must go to for every visitor in the Netherlands.


COPENHAGEN: Antiquarian booksellers will pop up in the foyers of the Copenhagen libraries!


STOCKHOLM:  Thanks to the Swedish rare book dealers the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April 2016 will turn into a great World Book and Copyright Night! On that day, 23 April 2016, the Stockholm Culture Night rolls out the purple carpet to celebrate art, music, dance and literature throughout the Swedish capital. Visitors will lose themselves in breathtaking performances and amazing exhibitions held at public places, museums and institutions all night. As part of this awesome event in Sweden and at the same time as part of the amazing great chain of ILAB Pop Up Fairs worldwide Mats Petterson, Mats Rehnströhm and other Swedish booksellers will pop up at the Royal Swedish Academy of Art, presenting treasures from the history of printing in Sweden and, as their colleagues across the world, raising money for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan. What a night in Stockholm!

LUND is one of the oldest and most charming cities in Sweden. It is famous for its historical buildings, for its University (founded in the year 1666), for numerous bicycles in the streets, its rich cultural scene – and for its bookshops. Pierre Dethorey, member of the Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (SVAF) runs one of these bookshops. Akarps antikvariat at Kalkstensvägen 21 has one of the largest stocks of rare books in Scandinavia. And it is home to a very special treasure all book people will immediately fall in love with: a stunning collection of over 200 Swedish chapbooks and catch-penny-prints. For this year’s UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day Pierre Dethorey will organize a special exhibition of this beautiful, funny, colourful and extremely rare bibliophile treasure. An amazing idea and another great event in Sweden on 23 April 2016!


OXFORD: Booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) and their colleagues in the Provincial Booksellers’ Association (PBFA) will join together to bring World Book and Copyright Day to the attention of all who come to one of Britain’s largest rare book fairs, the Oxford Premier Fair. Open on both Saturday April 23 and Sunday April 24th this is one of those special fairs where really different books and other works on paper can be found. Co-organiser Tom Lintern-Mole reports that every year really unusual books are offered in Oxford – last year there was quite a buzz created around an early book on magic, for example. So, if you will be in Britain on April 23 Oxford should be your destination!


NEW YORK: The city that never sleeps will host an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair at a most spectacular venue. Where? Stay tuned for more information coming soon.

CHICAGO, IL: “Sweet home Chicago” is worth visiting for its numerous architectural gems and famous jazz and blues musicians. On 23 April 12 ILAB Booksellers will show rare and fine books at Glessner House built by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson at Chicago’s historical “Millionaires’ Row”. All dealers have agreed to donate 10 per cent of the proceeds of any sale made during the Pop Up Fair to UNESCO. Their generous support for literacy will be echoed by sponsors like Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the Caxton Club, and many other Chicago based cultural organizations.

SEATTLE, WA:   In the late 19th century Seattle was the gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush, by the year 1910 it became one of the 25 largest cities of the United States, and up to the present it is an emerging industrial and cultural centre at the Pacific Northwest coast. Here, Ray Charles and Quincy Jones made their first steps as Jazz musicians. And who was born in Seattle? Yes! Jimi Hendrix! On 23 April 2016 5, the antiquarian booksellers who belong to the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) will host the final event of ILAB’s 24 hours of celebrations of the rare book and its place in our world. In Seattle the ILAB booksellers will welcome you in the Madison Room at the Sorrento Hotel for an ILAB Pop Up Fair including a 6-hour appraisal event, lots of information about the antiquarian booksellers in the United States and their national association and a big fundraising for the UNESCO project to help the children in South Sudan.

WEST LINN, PORTLAND / OREGON: At the same time and only few kilometres away, ABAA members Elisabeth Burdon, Nat des Marais and Charles Seluzicki will join in celebrating  “the end of the day” with an ILAB Pop Up Book Fair, as the sun goes down over World Book and Copyright Day 23 April 2016. The Portland booksellers who celebrated UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2015 in a Portland pub are heading a few miles south this year and will be showing a varied selection of antiquarian books, maps and ephemera at the West Linn Public Library on April 23 2016, noon to 5pm.  West Linn, a small city located on the Willamette River just south of Portland Oregon, boasts a vibrant community library – a great spot to chat with fellow booklovers, bring a book for an appraisal and donate to UNESCO literacy programs for South Sudan.


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