Israel a Country for Bookworms

Filed in Culture by on 02/06/2013 0 Comments
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Israel a Country for Bookworms

Book Fair in Jerusalem

Book Fair in Jerusalem (Photo: Beny Shlevich, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Israelis are very avid book readers and Israel is considered to have more people buying books per capita than any other country in the world! Israel also ranks second for the highest number of new books per capita. Israel is full of bookshops for new and old books and is lined with public libraries.

Hebrew Book Week June 5-15, 2013

Books for the Picking

Books for the Picking (Photo: Ofek Sitbon, CC BY 2.0)

Every year in Israel is Hebrew Book Week when thousands of Hebrew books, including 20% in other languages mainly English, go on sale all over the country at discount prices. Besides the major exhibition site in each town with outdoor stalls and tables lined with books, local booksellers also offer books at discounted prices. The main advantage for book lovers going to these main exhibits at outdoor stalls is that publishers can bring out their entire line and you can find many more books than are available in small bookshops.

At some of these sites are also musical performances, children’s workshops, storytelling and more. This event brings out tens of thousands of Israelis and tourists who have the opportunity to buy books at big savings. Some people make a list all year of books they want to buy and wait for the Book Week to open! In fact the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) discovered that ¼ of all Israeli households purchase books at this time! What began in 1926 as Hebrew Book Day has only gained in popularity.

Book Fair Places in Cities and Towns 2013

Tel Aviv June 5-15, Rabin Square, Kikar Rabin,

Sunday to Wednesday 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm,

Thursday – 6:00 pm until 12:00 midnight

Saturday night – from the end of the Sabbath until midnight

 

Jerusalem, June 5-15, Liberty Bell Garden, Gan Ha’pamon

Sunday to Wednesday – 6:00 pm until 11:00

Thursday – 6:00 pm until midnight

Friday – closed

Saturday night – from the end of the Sabbath until midnight

 

Be’er Sheva, June 5-15, Grounds of the Mishkan for Art Habima,

Sunday to Thursday 6:00 pm until 11:00 pm

Saturday night from the end of the Sabbath until midnight

 

Ramat Gan, June 5-15, Rambam Square, Kikar Rambam

Sunday to Thursday– 6:00 pm until 11:00

Friday – closed

Saturday night – from the end of the Sabbath until midnight

 

Kfar Saba, June 5-15, Bet Sapir Grounds,

Sunday to Thursday – 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm

Friday closed

Saturday night – from the end of the Sabbath until 11:00 pm

 

Ramat Hasharon, June 5-12, Yad Lebanim,

Sunday to Thursday, 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm

Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Saturday night from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm

 

Raanana, June 5-13, Yad Lebanim, Ahuza,

Sunday to Thursday 5:30 pm until 11:00 pm

Saturday night from 8:30 pm until midnight

 

Holon, June 5-15, Grounds of the Maditek,

Sunday to Thursday– 6:00 pm until 11:00

Friday – closed

Saturday night – from the end of the Sabbath until midnight

 

Herzylia, June 5-12, Hen Boulevard, Shderot Chen

Sunday to Thursday, 5:00 pm until 10:30 pm

Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Saturday night from the end of the Sabbath pm until 11:00 pm

 

Rishon Lezion, June 5-13, Midrahov

Sunday to Thursday, 6:00 pm until 10:00 pm

Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Saturday night from 8:30 pm until midnight

 

The National Library, Sifria leumit

Paperbacks at a Bookstore

Paperbacks at a Bookstore (Photo: Fabricio Zuardi, CC BY 2.0)

The most famous library in Israel is the National Library, the Sifria leumit at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Besides over five million volumes of books, manuscripts, periodicals, archives, maps, photographs, audio recordings and books in many languages, especially English, there are also found here some of the only copies in the world of rare old Hebrew books and manuscripts. When Jews made aliya to Israel they brought with them their sacred and holy books, the aliya of the books. Scholars come from all over the world to study these. When you enter the Judaica Reading Room full of university students and researchers, you will also see many rabbis pouring over these ancient texts.

 

Jerusalem International Book Fair

The 26th Jerusalem International Book Fair was held February 10-15, 2013 in the Jerusalem Convention Center, Binyanei ha’uma, an event that brought to Jerusalem more than 600 authors and publishers from 30 countries plus editors, translators, booksellers and readers. This is a very popular biennial event Publishers come together to sell and buy rights. More than 100,000 books in many languages were on display and many of the authors were available to sign books. Also on exhibit were historical scrolls, art books and posters.

There also were Seminars like Selling Books in a Digital Age, Lost and Found in Translation, Literary Criticism and Blogging.

The Literary Cafe offered music, panel discussions, and readings such as “Whispers of a Silent Past” about the Armenian Genocide, Germany after the War, A Slave in Ethiopia, Jewish Roots in Poland and more in a coffee shop setting.

The Editorial Fellowship Program offered young editors the chance to meet fellow editors from all over the world, to exchange ideas and become part of the international publishing community. The Agent Fellowship Program gave agents and scouts a chance to meet authors, publishers and editors.

Jerusalem Prize

The highlight of the festival was the awarding of the acclaimed Jerusalem Prize which this year 2013 went to Spanish author Antonio Muñoz Molina. The prize is awarded on the basis of a work which best expresses the idea of the freedom of the individual in society. Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat awarded the prize to Molina.

Did You Know?

The Ex Libris library software used by libraries all over the world was developed by Israelis?

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