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Vote now for your favourite Warsaw bookstore

The Polish capital encourages buying local in times of pandemic

  • July 18, 2020 15:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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The Mayor of Warsaw and partners launched a common action to support the local bookstores severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Until 24 August Warsaw inhabitants will be able to vote online and select the ten most-loved places and to give to the best ones the title “Favourite Bookstore of Warsaw”. Naturally, there will be rewards in cash and books.

“Solidarity matters and everyone can help”

The Mayor’s Award of the Capital City Warsaw called "Favourite Warsaw Bookstore" is a joint initiative of the city and Biblioteka Analiz, the Association of Polish Booksellers in Warsaw District and the Polish Book Chamber. The association was established for independent bookstores in Warsaw, which saw their sells plummet during the crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

The competition is part of the city's activities aimed at supporting people of culture. Its goal is to encourage Warsaw residents to vote for their favourite local bookstores, but also to visit them and buy books. “I believe that solidarity matters and each of us can help” emphasized Aldona Machnowska-Góra, director for culture and social communications, quoted on the municipal website.

Voting and prizes

Online voting will last until August 24. Each resident may cast one vote and justify his choice. Voting should take into account, among other things, presentation of the bookstore's offer, organization of events promoting books and reading passions (for adults and children), level of customer service or online activity and forms of contact with clients during a pandemic.

The authors of the most interesting opinions will be awarded book prizes. Respectively, the ten bookstores that win the highest number of votes will receive cash prizes for a total amount of 78,000 PLN (17 thousand euro).

  • 1st prize - 20 thousand zloty;
  • 2nd prize - 10,000 zloty;
  • and eight awards of 6,000 zloty.

Each of the three best bookstores will also be able to use the title "Favourite Warsaw Bookstore" (Ulubiona Księgarnia Warszawy in Polish) for 12 months from the date the prize was awarded. The competition is accompanied by a social campaign with the slogan "Is this bookshop the coolest?" in which the city encourages residents to purchase books locally.

This way, the municipality supports independent cultural institutions. Independent bookstores are important places on the cultural map of the capital - they build its unique atmosphere and co-create local space, explain the authorities.

There are about one hundred of them in Warsaw, usually small venues, mostly run as a family business or by a group of friends, who organize meetings with authors, debates, concerts, film screenings and are active in social media. Furthermore, the promotion of reading is one of the priorities of Warsaw's cultural policy.



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