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 Book Shops > 1.6 MILLION Euros for European Book Town Project

1.6 MILLION Euros for European Book Town Project

A couple of days ago Hans Loef wrote drawing my attention to a piece in Ibookcollector Newsletter 139 entitled "News from Sedbergh". As well as reporting that the "Book Town" has lost Sandell’s Book Shop to the town of Kirkby, it touches on a Spanish proposal to throw more money at Book Towns:

"The International Organisation of Book Towns is currently preparing a rather large bid to the EU to research book towns as cultural icons. With the end product designed to be a Manual for Aspiring Book Towns, those concerned in the bid can expect to receive a good deal of help with IT aiming towards a Book Town Intranet, a Book Towns web TV channel and basically get all sorts of good publicity for their own book town. Sedbergh and Wigtown are hoping that the project will enable them to start to advertise internationally to potential tour groups."

I would like to share with you the first (25.04.2008) of a number of emails I recived from Jesús Núñez on the subject:

"My name is Jesús Núñez and I write you on behalf of an Spanish Public Institution which activities' Culture Department are deeply involved with the Old Books and Book Towns. Our intention is to present a Culture Project (see and change the language: http://europa.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/l29006.htm and) between Book Towns in Europe on the new call for Proposals in September or October 2008."

"I cannot send you any information about the new call for proposals because they are not opened yet but you can consult some information on the European Commission web page http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/culture/index_en.htm. This is only my first contact with all of you and I would like to maintain fluent communication in order to know better each other."

"Attached I send you a short summary of the activities we would like to implement on the project. It is only a draft and I am convinced that it is necessary to mature more on it. Please be free to let me know your idea and send me your suggestions, recommendations or ideas, I will be glad to hear you."

The summary reveals that the "Total budget of the project: 1.600.000 Euros," that's right 1.6 MILLION Euros. Needless to say I wrote back and repeatedly suggested that the money might be better spent promoting secondhand bookshops in general, but got no response. I can only hope that the recent European-wide economic collapse will kill this proposal stone dead.

PS. It's ironic that in the same week as this announcement, Joanna Chambers finally closed Broadleaf Books, the bookshop she tried so hard to make work in the benighted "Book Town" of Blaenafon.

Mike Goodenough
Editor
28.11.08.

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