Choose the Krakow bookshops of the year!

On 5 October the first edition of a poll to choose the best bookshop of the year starts in Krakow. It is a pioneer project carried out by the Krakow Festival Office under the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme. A group of experts – journalists, literary critics and managers –will choose 31 sites at which the readers will vote for five bookshops with the Quality Label. Voting will continue until the 6th of December – at the bookshops or via the website: ksiegarnie.miastoliteratury.pl. The results will be announced on 13 December, on the Bookseller’s Day!

Following the National Library estimates, more than a half of decisions whether to buy a book or not is made in a bookshop. Professionally well run bookshops with an ambitious offer for all, and more and more often with their own programmes of cultural events, are real treasures on the city map. The idea of the polls inspired by the French Quality Label (LIR – Librairie indépendante de référence) or the German Bookshop Prize (Deutscher Buchhandlungpreis) comes from the need to shape clients’ habits, constantly reminding them of the importance of sites where a good book is still of the greatest value.

On 7 September, a group of experts: Katarzyna Fortuna (Radio Krakow), Anka Karczewska (initiative: Książki Kupuję Kameralnie), Michał Olszewski (“Gazeta Wyborcza” Krakow), Olga Szmidt (non-fiction writer and literary critic), Łukasz Wojtusik (Radio TOK FM) and Krzysztof Żwirski (Literary Department of the Krakow Festival Office) chose 31 sites for the readers to vote on the site or via the Internet for 5 bookshops of the year of Krakow UNESCO City of Literature. They decided to promote antique book shops and independent bookshops (not united within a network), the sites that identify themselves as bookshops or bookshop-cafés, except museum bookshops and bookstores that have only one publishing house productions on sale. They were chosen to offer small bookshops equal chances and to promote the places of interest on the book map of Krakow.

You can vote until 6 December in two ways: on the spot at the bookshops (by filling in a brief questionnaire and to put it in the ballot box) or via the Internet on the website: ksiegarnie.miastoliteratury.pl, where you can find the map of Krakow bookshops, a calendar of cultural events and information on the City’s and the Krakow Festival Office’s programmes of support to booksellers, updated on an ongoing basis. You can vote for various bookshops, but you are not allowed to vote several times for the same site. Voting will also be possible during the upcoming Conrad Festival and International Book Fair in Krakow. Various categories will be assessed, including service, cultural offer, and – last, but not least – the bookshop’s atmosphere. The voters may expect attractive prizes, such as coupons for purchasing books.

The five bookshops that received the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Quality Label 2018 will be made known on 13 December, the Bookseller’s Day. Award-winning bookshops will receive a promotional campaign in the urban space, promotion via the organisers’ media channels and professional support under the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme.

Bookshops are a priority for the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme. In the years 2013-2017, an all-year-round programme in support to cultural activities of bookshops was put in operation, the scope of City Council resolution entitling bookshops to preferential rates in municipal premises was extended, and a number of campaigns promoting small bookshops as cultural centres were run (e.g. Read Locally campaign).

Vote and support small bookshops in your city!


Organisers of the polls: City of Krakow, Krakow Festival Office – the operator of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme
Media patronage: “Gazeta Wyborcza” Krakow, Radio Krakow, TVP Krakow
Partners: Lubimy Czytać, initiatives: Książki Kupuję Kameralnie, City of Literature Foundation, Stowarzyszenie Miłośników Książek, Historii i Krakowa ”Otwarta Książka”, Re-Prezentacje Association

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