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Academic Book Week: What is it, and how can you get involved? By Charlotte Webster

By Ian G Evans, on 4 March 2020

Academic Book Week is a celebration of academic books, and the impact they have on our society and our world. The week aims to draw attention to the ‘diversity, variety and influence’ of academic books, increasing awareness of the academic book as ‘a vehicle for ground-breaking ideas.’ Run by The Booksellers Association, the week aims to spark debate across various stakeholders, and to provide a space for those who ‘read, write, publish, sell, or work with academic books’ to share their views.

This year, Academic Book Week is running from 9-13 March, and will involve a range of events, panels, and promotions. This year’s theme is ‘Academic Books and the Environment,’ and the Booksellers Association have released a diverse list of ‘recommended reads’ that tackle the climate emergency.

If academic books are important to you, then shout about it! Here are some ideas for how you can get involved:

  • Attend an Academic Book Week event. Our own Caroline Wintersgill is hosting a discussion with Lewis Dartnell, author of Origins, on the 9th of March at Waterstones Gower Street. Post about any events you do attend on social media.
  • Read a book (or books!) on the ‘recommended reads’ list. Does it change your perspective or inspire you to take action in some way?
  • Reflect on your own experiences with academic books. When was the last time you bought an academic book? Did you buy it from a conventional bookshop, an academic specialist, a second-hand bookseller, or maybe from Amazon? Was it an e-book, or in print? Maybe you rely on the library to provide access to academic books for you? What could publishers could do to encourage students to purchase academic books – what new models might entice you?
  • Think about the academic book that has most impacted you, or influenced your viewpoint in some way – recommend it to a friend!

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