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Romania’s Cărturești store in Bucharest has been named Bookstore of the Year in the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards.  The store in Verona was praised by judges for its work during the Covid-19 pandemic during which the store’s “online offering and activities, and the grant programme subsidised from their sales to support local writers, demonstrated their sense of responsibility for the community”.  The judges added: “All of this in a stunning building imaginatively converted into a bookshop that we all wanted to visit as soon as we can.”

Opened in 2003 the store occupies two fin de siècle buildings joined together and is famous as a destination bookstore in the city.

Other awards this year went to the Ghana Library Authority which took home the Library of the Year Award with judges praising it as “an amazing storey of transformation.  Africa collected another award with the Literary Translation Initiative which went to Mozambique’s Editora Trinta Zero Nove.

Audiobook Publisher of the Year went to USA’s Findaway Voices while Hachette UK collected the Inclusivity in Publishing Award.

Andy Ventris, director of LBF, said: “After a year which has impacted every corner of the book world, it is more important than ever that we celebrate the innovation and creativity being shown by the global publishing community in the face of unprecedented challenges. All of the winners of this year’s International Excellence Awards demonstrate the ingenuity and talent to be found in the industry today, and we are delighted to recognise their work bringing books and learning to readers around the globe.”

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the UK’s Publishers Association, said: “Congratulations to the hugely deserving winners of this year’s International Excellence Awards. It’s inspiring to see the great work happening in the books industry around the world especially in such challenging circumstances.”