World Book Capital is an initiative of UNESCO, United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization. Following the success of World Book and Copyright Day, Unesco developed the concept of World Book Capital City, selecting Madrid as the Capital for 2001. The successful outcome, lead Unesco’s General Conference to designate World Book Capital as an annual event. The title is nominated every year to a different city and the programs run from April 23rd (World Book and Copyright Day) to April 22nd of the following year.
Bécherel is a small village, called the "village of the books" because there are fifteen bookstores for around 660 inhabitants. Events and performances taking place at Bécherel include the European Festival of Ancient Greek and Latin, in March, for the national "Spring of Poets" weekend. The "Fête du Livre", each Easter week-end, the Night of Books (August), "Lire en Fête" (October), Treasures of Bécherel (December).
Bellprat has an appealing center centre and its population is enthusiastic about throwing open its doors to book-loving visitors. Bellprat is also the first book town in Catalonia.
Indias first book village Bhilar has 15,000 books all of them in Marathi. Other books in Hindi and English shall be added to the collection soon. The 25 buildings are divided genre-wise, adorned with beautiful and relevant art.
Booktown Books is a cooperative of sellers of used and rare books, ephemera, CDs, DVDs, LP records and art.
This book town is a destination for book lovers all year round, with eight booksellers. On the third Sunday of each month they host a writers' program.
Bredevoort is known as the Dutch Hay-on-Wye on account of its antiquarian and second-hand booksellers. With tens of shops, including antiquarian bookshops and art galleries, Bredevoort makes a pleasant visit. Every third Saturday of the month a book market takes place and most shops are open on the Sunday afternoon of the same weekend.
Brownville, Nebraska is an amazing little town south of Omaha on the Missouri River with a population of 142 with four bookstores and seven museums. It has been designated an “International Book Town.” I think of it as “the little town that could… and did.”
The VVV Deventer in the Netherlands hosts many literary activities. In August Europes largest book market starts for one day only and towards Christmas, the Dickens Festival is held.
Clunes is a destination for book lovers all year round. It has eight booksellers, and on the third Sunday of each month they host a writers program.
Since 1st May 1997, Damme has officially become a Booktown, like the Dutch Bredevoort or Wallonian Redu or Hay-on-Wye in Wales. The village has 9 bookshops specialize in one or other kinds of books, for you to find from May to September, daily in winter months only during weekends. Every second Sunday of the month, there is also a book market on the Market Square (in winter inside the Town Hall).
The bookstores of eastern mountain contribute to making books and book culture high under the head of the inhabitants of the area, which is Árborg, Ölfus, and Hveragerði.
The village of Esquelbecq offers a diverse literary and cultural programme. Every 3rd Sunday of the month from October to May, the village has book readings and this provides an opportunity for the public to meet authors, editors or artists, in a friendly and warm atmosphere.
Featherston Booktown is an annual 3 day festival celebrating books, writers and literature in many different ways. The weekend starts with the now traditional fish and chip supper featuring a guest speaker. Over the weekend there are lots of events for all ages and interests celebrating everything to do with books - take part in workshops and interactive sessions, go to the popular book fair including stalls with rare and second hand books plus hear authors speak.
The Norwegian Book Town in Fjærland started out very modestly in 1995, and now stocks about 2.5 miles of shelving, filled with books, in a variety of abandoned buildings – from ferry waiting rooms, stables and local banks to post office and grocery shop. Besides taking care of books, the idea here was also to preserve the old buildings, this makes some of the shops rather exceptional and characteristic. You here find small, specialised shops, some of them in connection with other trades like the two hotels and the arts & crafts shop, and quite large shops selling only second-hand books: Straumsvågs Antikvariat and Den norske bokbyen A/S. The shops in The Norwegian Book Town are open 10am-6pm every day from May to September, every day from 10 am to 6 pm. Requests by e-mail, post, fax or telephone are served all through the year, and the book town enjoys a lively postal order business.
Hay-on-Wye has become world famous for its secondhand and antiquarian bookshops, some specialising whilst others carry general books.
An eclectic collection of shops for people who love books.
In the center of Tokyo, Jimbou Booktown is known for used-book stores and publishing houses. It is also a popular antique and curio shopping area. The prestigious Tokyo Book Binding Club and Literature Preservation Society are located in Jinbōchō.
This shop sells, new and used music as well as an extensive range of books and magazines all relating to music.
There are approximately 15,000 books in the book village that are available for reading, reference and purchase which are supplied by 8 resident publishers with additional support from the Malacca State Government. In addition, our book village aims to carve a niche for itself as a reference and resource center for books and reading materials concerning the State of Malacca. This also includes books written by writers originating from Malacca. These books are housed and displayed in a special section named "Anjung Karyawan Melaka" and they cover topics on history, tourism, culture, fiction, and biography
The store aims to provide children and parents with the very best childrenâ€™s books, as well as a relaxing reading environment. It boasts bold colors, cozy reading spaces and hundreds of stories to inspire big imaginations.
The place has a unique charm of its own. Dotted with makeshift bookstalls constructed with bamboo, wood, canvas, and sheets of tin on both sides of the road, College Street is a paradise for book lovers. It’s a one of its kind book marketplaces in the world which draws locals and tourists alike from every corner of the globe. It is a regular place of visit for book trotters. One can get all kinds of book here. The universal availability of books and the large network of shop owners make your book buying experience truly memorable. Famous publication houses like Ananda Publishers, Abhijan Publishers, Dey’s publishing are located here. It is the largest second-hand book market in the world and largest book market in India.
Before it became a book town Fontenoy-la-Joûte, 100km west of Strasbourg, had no connection with the literary world and indeed few book businesses of any kind. It set up Les Amis du Livre, with the aim of promoting reading and writing in 1994. The book town was officially inaugurated two years later, thanks to the efforts of a small band of enthusiasts, including France’s former agriculture minister, François Guillaume, and the village mayor, Jean-Marie Vanot. Eighteen businesses opened in April 1996, with bookshops planning to open at weekends and holidays, and more frequently during the summer. Within four years the project had renovated 24 buildings for new use. At its height, there were 23 booksellers in the village and its first book fair, in September 1994, attracted around 11,000 visitors, as well as booksellers from France, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
Lilleputthammer is a small adventure park for families. The main section is a miniature copy of the main street in the city of Lillehammer, Storgata, with all the houses built as they looked in the 1930s but at a quarter size. There are more than 40 shops, two hotels, three cafes, two bakeries, a police station and a cinema. Within this is the Children’s City of Books – six houses devoted entirely to books. “We have about 15,000 books in different genres, all for children,” says Cathrine Wilhelmsen, its deputy manager. “The books are divided into different houses according to the ages of the readers and then again into categories such as animals, fairytales, environmental protection, cowboys, crime, nature and outdoor living. The houses are When Mum and Dad Were Young (books written between 1900 and 1970), Picture Book House, Youth Literature, Mysteries and Crime, The Comics House, and The House of Facts. We also have a bookshop with new books, stationery, art and fun stuff.”
Born as a lumber camp and incorporated as a village in 1879, Mecosta today may be the world's smallest book town, boasting a far greater population of books than humans.
Mellosa became the first book town in Sweden
Sometimes referred to as "Village of Books", Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and antiquarian books.
Óbidos stands out from most other book towns in that it didn’t open new bookshops; many stores have simply added bookselling to their business. So, the local art galleries sell art books, the Óbidos organic market has shelves of cookbooks behind its fresh fruit and vegetables, and the museums stock history, interior design and heritage titles, according to their individual focus.
Asia Publication Culture & Information Center houses book cafes, used bookstores, galleries, and restaurants, hosting diverse exhibitions and forums; Tan Tan Story House, run by Yeowon Media specializing in illustrated storybooks for children, is a cultural center for children with a performance hall, a gallery, and a book café. Other notable attractions include Yeolhwadang, Chameleon (BIR Publishing’s book outlet), Darakwon Book Café, and Moongongsa Book Café. The first floor of Paju Book City is full of bookstores and cafes.
Purgstall in Austria is the country's first book village. The project is rather young, and the village invites everybody who owns old books and can no longer use them, to contact them. They would be happy about these books. Apart from the books, the area offers a beautiful and healthy environment to the visitor.
Redu is a village in the municipality of Libin, in Luxembourg province, Belgium. The village is twinned with Hay-on-Wye in the United Kingdom and it is one of the very first book towns.
The village of Saint-Pierre-de-Clages is also known as the Swiss book town with an annual book festival.
Sedbergh is a delightfully picturesque market town located in the South Lake District, Western Dales of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and at the foot of the Howgill Fells. Sedbergh is England's official book town. There are only about eight bookshops in Sedbergh.
One of the first things you’ll notice is the abundance of bookstores. Established in 1996 and one of only a few in the world, Sidney is Canada’s Only Booktown. Each of the bookshops has a very unique identity and focal point. The bookstore owners are experts in their fields and have put together special collections of thousands titles and categories to choose from.
Five book wagons – carts on wheels with canopies – were set up in 2007 to sit at roadsides for self-service use and these were joined by a book cafe in a greenhouse at the health food store Taraxacum. A year later the village held its first workshop for aspiring writers. There are now a dozen book carts and places to buy books around town. In 2011 the restored former railway station, dating from 1916, became the book town’s headquarters. There is now a bookstore on the ground floor as well as local food for sale and a bicycle rental station. Visitors will find mini bookshops in garages, a workman’s hut, a disused stable, a farm entrance, in front of the church and by the entrance to the supermarket. There are plenty of ingenious shelving ideas too: books stacked in bread boxes and milk crates. Some operate on a self-service honesty basis. The association also runs a yearly Nordic Book Festival, with talks and readings from established authors, along with live music.
The bookshops of Tvedestrand offer a treasure of second-hand books for the collector or the enthusiast in a unique atmosphere by the harbour. Tvedestrand, the small, traditional sailsman's town by the Norwegian south coast, is one of two book town in Norway. The book shops of Tvedestrand offer a treasure of second-hand books for the collector or the enthusiast. In addition to the shops, Tvedestrand offers a unique atmosphere of white wooden houses and a pleasant harbour area. Visiting Tvedestrand we recommend you to make a stroll through the picturesque wooden house quarter down by the harbour. In this quiet and pleasant area of the small town, you also find the bookshops. Most of them are spread out in what is becoming a triangle of bookshops. Within this triangle, there is a total of 5-10 bookshops depending on the season. The bookshops specialize in different areas, although most of them also have a broad selection of general fiction and non-fiction books. The book town is also the children's book town. In the summer, there will be children's events in the Museumshagen (Museum's garden) all Wednesdays in July.
Uruena is part of a network of villages in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. At present, Urueña attracts 40,000 bibliophiles to its narrow medieval streets every year. They cross the vast plains of Castilla to search through old tomes; listen to lectures on writing and take classes in calligraphy, and of course to talk to one another about the pleasures found in books.
Today Wigtown is known as Scotland's "book town" and is thus compared to Hay-on-Wye in Wales.
In Wünsdorf-Waldstadt are thousands of books talking about present and past, inviting to rummage and buy. Around that, you can find a unique, almost 100-years old military history about that location. All these experiences you can get in museums and exhibitions or on adventurous walks through the huge bunker complexes deep down!