Innovation Campus’ ‘Pop-Up Bookshop’ will offer affordable books, community

University of Nebraska Press Pop-Up Bookshop

The start of a new semester brings many constants that seasoned college students have grown used to: the promise of a successful football season, lots of coffee and, unfortunately, the purchase of bland textbooks .

But during the first week of classes, the University of Nebraska Press and the Nebraska Innovation Campus are partnering for an event where students can purchase some more leisurely books: the Pop-Up Bookshop. 

The bookshop and lunch event will be held at Innovation Campus’ Mill Coffee & Bistro on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. $5 paperbacks and $10 hardcovers will be for sale — all books that are published and promoted by Nebraska Press. Guests will also receive a free Bison Books (a trade name subset of Nebraska Press) pint glass with every purchase. 

This is one of many pop-up bookshops that Nebraska Press has hosted in Lincoln, according to Nebraska Press publicity manager Rosemary Sekora. Past venues include Zipline Brewery and White Elm Brewery, with Nebraska Press’ next event being held at the Kinkaider Brewery Taproom on Sept. 3. This week’s event at the Innovation Campus Mill is Nebraska Press’ first bookshop on a UNL campus.

The pop-up is also part of the Bookwalk, a promotional event leading up to the Nebraska Book Festival on Sept. 7 at the Nebraska Union. From Aug. 1 to Sept. 6, people can visit participating bookstores and receive a punch on their “bookmark.” That completed bookmark can be shown at the Bookwalk party on Sept. 6 at Zipline’s headquarters to receive happy hour pricing and book-related prizes.

Nebraska Press is one of the sponsors of the Nebraska Book Festival, so Sekora said the spontaneous bookshop is a great way to promote the upcoming festival.

“It’s a perfect promotional event to talk about the Press and the upcoming festival,” she said. “We all get excited about books, and we get excited when we meet other people like us. Events like these really help us see that community that’s here.”

The process of bringing Nebraska Press’ bookshops to a campus location began with a meeting last year between Sekora and Kate Engel, Innovation Campus’ director of communication and culture. Engel said that Sekora mentioned Nebraska Press’ previous bookshops, which Engel immediately thought would be a perfect event for the Nebraska Innovation Campus. 

“Part of my role is thinking of things that would be interesting for our partners here to attend,” Engel said. “We always want to bring events here that feel unique to our campus.”

After she noticed Nebraska Press was hosting a bookshop at White Elm on Aug. 3, Engel reached back out to Sekora to see if they could coordinate an event at Innovation Campus. Engel said Sekora felt the Mill was the perfect space for a pop-up, so the pair sat down with Justin Fuchs, the Innovation Campus Mill’s catering manager, and planned out the event.

Both Sekora and Engel expressed that they expect the event to be beneficial all-around. Nebraska Press gets to promote itself, the Book Festival and literacy in Lincoln. Innovation Campus hosts a fun event and boosts awareness about its facilities. On top of it all, attendees can take advantage of affordable book prices. 

“It’s a great way to introduce our partners to community and campus organizations,” Engel said. “We want people to learn about these organizations and create connections while going to an event we think they’ll enjoy.”

By: David Berman, The Daily Nebraskan