Suggestions for summer reading part of new campaign


Booksellers and publishers have partnered to remind citizens that books can still be bought in brick-and-mortar shops, with personal service and thumbing privileges

Buy the book

As people gear up to go on their annual holiday, and culture minister Sven Gatz have launched a campaign to remind them to load up on summer reading. Some 250 bookshops and 75 publishers are also joining in on the campaign. is the marketing and support platform for book sales in Flanders. They launched the campaign Koop tijd voor een boek (Buy Time for a Book) earlier this month, and it will run, sponsoring various activities, until 2020.

The first part of the campaign finds suggestions for summer reading in bookshops, with a special display called Lees je de zomer in (Read in the Summer). But the campaign will spend the next 24 months convincing people that, despite the digital age, bookshops are wonderful places to discover new titles, as well as classics that have been on your reading list for years.

“We hope to get 25,000 more people to visit bookstores over the next two years,” said Gatz. “This way we can introduce people to their local booksellers as well as encourage them to buy books.”

Also behind the campaign are the Association of Flemish Booksellers and the Publishers’ Group. Each bookshop is creating its own summer reading display, sometimes in co-operation with publishers.

Standaard Publishers has put its own list online, which includes several titles available in English, including British writer Alice Feeney's Sometimes I Lie and Australian author Krystal Sutherland's A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares. Most bookshops in Flanders have an English section, including the big chains like Fnac and Standaard Boekhandel. Well-known independent bookstores taking part in the campaign include De Groene Waterman in Antwerp and Passa Porta in Brussels.

Photo: Minister Sven Gatz writes as well as reads
©Sven Gatz