Going Dutch: Dinner with the Nederlandse Boekverkopersbond

The Nederlandse Boekverkopersbond is the Dutch Booksellers Association. The graphic above is taken from the menu (below) of a dinner they held in 1947, celebrating 40 years as an organization.

The association is still going strong and celebrated their centennial in 2007, for which I found a YouTube tribute. I see from their Web site, as well as the video, that a representative from the roundtable of cartoonish characters in the menu graphic continues in the logo today for the association.

And, of course, the signature dish of any organization's dinner meeting was served... Chicken. Even sixty-something years ago. It just sounds a whole lot better as Poularde de Bressi.

Dinner celebrations aside, the Dutch Booksellers Association plays a major role in the Netherlands along with the Groep Algemene Uitgevers (Trade Publishing Group) promoting book reading and book buying in their country. These two groups teamed up in 1983 to form the CPNB, which is an acronym for (in English) Collective Promotion for the Dutch Book.

The first paragraph from their Web site is worth quoting here, not only for the numbers that attest to the collaboration's success, but also for their blending of idealistic and commercially-driven goals of reading books and buying those books from local book shops. I am particularly biased toward the idea of supporting the booksellers!
About 40 million trade books are sold in the Netherlands each year with a total turnover of some 500 million Euros. Since 1930, Dutch publishers and booksellers have cooperated in promoting trade books; in 1983 this task was allotted to the CPNB (in Dutch: Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek), a foundation set up in Amsterdam. The CPNB aims to encourage the habits of book reading and book buying. Each CPNB campaign has its own mix of two strands, one idealistically promoting reading, the other, more commercially, encouraging the public to visit their local bookshop.


  1. YUP. Now all we have to do is convince people that the Kindle is dead. Long Live a REAL book!

  2. A related post yesterday, which I just found, is from The Private Library blog--a guest editorial about buying and collecting old and rare books in the Netherlands. You can't appreciate the vellum on a Kindle, but the Kindle has its niche now among readers, particularly with newer books. Room for both mediums, I hope. I don't see real books ever going away completely.

  3. Well, that link above went nowhere. Maybe this will: The Private Library blog


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