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Over 550 booksellers in 26 countries working together, achieving remarkable result in unprecedented campaign

“Amor Librorum Nos Unit” is the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB, the international trade body for the rare book trade uniting booksellers across 36 countries. The motto has been quoted many times over the last few days and particularly the last few hours following an agreement with AbeBooks to reverse its decision to withdraw from a number of international markets.
Published on 08 Nov. 2018
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ILAB booksellers in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Russia and South Korea will be able to continue to trade using the AbeBooks platform despite being told a week ago that their access to the platform would be discontinued. 

This decision caused a wave of protest resulting in over 550 booksellers in 26 countries pausing their listing of stock on AbeBooks, going “on vacation” and also sparked large media interest. 

In a meeting on 7th November 2018 between ILAB and AbeBooks, an agreement was reached to reinstate the affected booksellers by allowing to trade under current conditions until 31st December 2018 and offering a solution to trade beyond that time indefinitely. 

AbeBooks assured the representatives of ILAB that they will do everything they can to continue support the booksellers. 

One of the affected booksellers who initially brought this issue to ILAB’s attention, said following the agreement:

Dear Colleagues, you have achieved something we have only dreamed of: You have demonstrated that virtues like selfless solidarity and support have a value beyond the interests and decisions of a company however large it may be. With utmost gratitude, Jan and Ondrej Schick (Antikvariát Valentinská, Prague).

After the successful meeting, Sally Burdon, ILAB President, communicated the following to ILAB affiliated booksellers: 

“Dear Colleagues, it is with great pleasure I report to you that the booksellers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia and South Korea will be able to continue to trade on ABE Books into the future if they wish to. They will not be cut off this month nor in the future. AbeBooks assured us that none of the booksellers, neither ILAB members or others will have to stop trading on ABE. I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this extraordinary and unprecedented protest. Without your voices and "vacationing" books we would never have gained the media interest. Without the protests on the list and the media attention I know we would not have so easily got this excellent outcome. I wish to thank every single person who wrote an email, withdrew their books, spoke to customers or the media, worked on the spreadsheet or any other of the many, many things that made this campaign so powerful. This historic, unprecedented action is a success for us all.”

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