World Book Capital 2008: Amsterdam

Amsterdam hosts World’s Biggest Book Market on 18 May 2008

On 18 May, 2008, Amsterdam’s historic centre is the location of the world’s biggest book market. No fewer than 1,000 stalls with books will wind through the city centre. The World Book Market is being held in the context of Amsterdam World Book Capital, a title of great distinction that has been awarded to the Dutch capital by UNESCO. From 23 April, Amsterdam will be buzzing with activities around the importance and pleasure of books and reading for a whole year.

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The KAN is organising this immense book market in association with Amsterdam World Book Capital and Boekwinkeltjes.nl. The Amsterdam World Book Market meanders from the Waterlooplein, along the banks of the River Amstel in front of the Muziektheater, via the Zwanenburgwal, Sint Antoniebreestraat, Jodenbreestraat and Nieuwmarkt all the way to the Kloveniersburgwal. Mile after mile of books for fans of the printed word in every imaginable genre. The world’s biggest book market is being accompanied by a diversity of activities at the Zuiderkerkhof open-air plaza, such as an opportunity to have books valued by the city’s new auction house for books, Amsterdam Book Auctions.
Between now and 15 March, booksellers, publishers and private individuals can register for a stall.

UNESCO’s granting of the title of World Book Capital to Amsterdam presents the city with a unique opportunity to reaffirm its reputation as a refuge for free speech and the written word, and to highlight its international renown as a literary hub. Amsterdam World Book Capital wants to inspire and propagate dialogue about the freedom of expression and has chosen to do this by adopting the ‘Open Book’ theme as its guiding principle. This theme ties in with Amsterdam’s character as a city of books and publishing, linking the written word with the social realities of today in the Netherlands and abroad. The event also provides a platform for in-depth exploration of sector-specific topics such as copyright, self-censorship and digital media. The three icons of Amsterdam World Book Capital are Spinoza, Anne Frank and Annie M.G. Schmidt, authors who tell the tale of Amsterdam past and present.