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Bookseller on Tour: Lisbon - RISE Bookselling Conference


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It’s been just over 2 weeks since I got back from Lisbon, and two full days of nerding out about books and bookselling with 300 fellow book people, from 28 different countries. This was the second annual RISE* Bookselling Conference, created by EIBF to provide a space in which to grow and foster a global and resilient bookselling community.

The panels and workshops covered topics such as banned books, bibliodiversity, festivals and displays, bookshops as safe spaces, sustainability, accessibilty and so much more! Guest speaking authors articulated their love of books and bookshops. Natasha Brown even did an analytical deep dive on the 'tricky second novel'. While Manuel Vilas romanticised the sensory appeal of books, as friends that age alongside us.

The third edition of the RISE Bookselling Conference will take place in Riga, Latvia on 23-24 March 2025.

The list of books below are all linked to the trip. I read Requiem while in Lisbon as it's set there - and had a similarly odd evening that included a taxi driver/drug dealer in mourning, a toothless Casanova, and a (self-titled) French ambassador.

Assembly has leapt up my 'to be read' list after Natasha Brown's data-tastic presentation.

Sluts and Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens both came highly recommended by fellow booksellers at Gay's the Word and Night Owl Books, respectively.

Publication of The Carnation Revolution is just in time for the 50 year anniversary of that drastic and rapid regime change. In A People's History of the Portuguese Revolution Varela explores the role of trade unions, artists and women in 1974. And if you're after a grimy thriller then Two Nights in Lisbon might be the one for you.

*‘Resilience, Innovation and Sustainability for the Enhancement of Bookselling’, or RISE Bookselling in short, is a three-year, EU co-funded programme run by EIBF. Since its launch in early 2022, RISE Bookselling has been working to create a real network of international and European booksellers, bringing them closer together while upscaling their resilience by providing them with key tools and insights they can put into practice in their shop.

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