There are only few days before we are engrossed in reading more than on any weekend of the year. On the World Book and Copyright Day all side streets and squares in Krakow – the first Polish UNESCO City of Literature – will fill with books, and all bookshops and libraries will turn into centres of the city’s cultural life.
The 23rd of April is a very special day for world literature – the anniversary of death of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. The idea to celebrate ”the greatest fun humanity has ever invented” was born in Barcelona, where a great open-air book fair is always held in the streets on St George’s Day. The capital of Małopolska also has its Krakow Book Fair to be held on the weekend from the 22nd to the -23rd of April. It will bring life to the charming St Magdalene’s Square, halfway from the Main Market Square and the Wawel Hill. From 11:00 am to 6:00 pm a dozen or so antiquarian and second-hand booksellers from Krakow and environs will show their books on the square. The rich offer of second-hand books will be supplemented by workshops, various shows and book reading. We will learn how to operate stencil duplicating machines which were used to print clandestine opposition press; a walk along antiquarian bookshops and workshops in drawing comic strip are also planned. On the awarding of the prestigious Cervantes Prize to Eduardo Mendoza, the library of the Cervantes Institute will hold an open-door event; you can also have a coffee and a light snack at the fair. The April fair heralds an all-year-round cycle of events by which the Krakow Festival Office– the operator of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme – wants to revive and promote the rich traditions of second-hand book trade at the foot of the Wawel Hill.
On 23-24 April the 16th edition of Book and Rose Małopolska Book Days will be held. Traditionally, the Voivodeship Public Library in Krakow along with other libraries and bookshops from Krakow and entire Małopolska have prepared many attractions. They will include a meeting with Father Leon Knabit OSB, the closing Gala of the Tree of Reviews competition, critical writing workshops, a literary field game and a special edition of the Second Life of a Book free book-sharing campaign. Passengers of Małopolska Railway can also expect a nice surprise – organisers of the campaign will hand out book gifts on the train!
Krakow bookshops have developed a specially eventful and rich programme. For all-Polish Small Bookshop Weekend (22-23 April), seven Krakow’s bookstores have planned concerts, exhibitions, meetings and workshops, and on top of that – a special event of the kind: silent reading! The Small Bookshop Weekend is the second edition of the grassroots campaign that was awarded the Bronze Paperclip prize in the Community Event of the Year category. The campaign was launched in 2016 in Warsaw with the aim to remind us that bookshops are important culture centres, of key importance for readership promotion. Twenty cities will be involved in the Small Library Weekend this year. Seventy bookshops have prepared in total 150 events! The Krakow Festival Office is a partner of the Krakow edition of the Small Bookshop Weekend. Bookshops are a strategic target for the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature programme which is implemented by the Krakow Festival Office and involves a municipal programme in support of cultural activities in bookshops.
Get to know this weekend’s itinerary!
For the programme of Krakow Book Fair click here.
For the programme of the 16th Book and Rose Małopolska Book Day click here.
For the programme of Small Bookshop Weekend – Krakow 2017 click here.