Wherein I have procured a whole lotta books…
The Bookcon was held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City on May 30th and 31st. The event, which is open to the public, is an offshoot of the the trade-only Book Expo America. So far BookCon is not the chaotic hellscape that New York Comic Con has become so if you haven’t been to BookCon yet, you should go.
I was fortunate enough to be in attendance and came away with an embarrassment of riches in the form of many, many future hours of reading enjoyment. BookCon is great because it’s an occasion for me to play the explorer and discover books that I probably wouldn’t have looked twice at in a book store.
The highlight of the event for me was meeting Norton Juster, author of one of my most favoritist books ever, The Phantom Tollbooth. This book, more than most any other, contributed greatly to my lifelong love of, not only reading in particular, but storytelling in general. A beautiful hardcover edition was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the story’s original publication. I maybe fangirl-ed just a little bit but Mr. Juster was a total pro about it.
Apparently there were also a bunch of celebrities there. Blah.
It’s nice that the publishing industry is finally taking a reader-centric step in the right direction by having an event like BookCon. But it would be even better if readers had the opportunity at an event like this to speak to publishers about the business of publishing. It’s amazing to hear authors discussing their stories and their craft. And I guess there are people who are interested in the various and sundry celebrities who were in attendance. But we all know the publishing industry is in a state of upheaval. Shouldn’t we readers have a chance to put forward our ideas about what the book world will look like in the future? I would love some panels where publishing representatives ask us directly about how we read, how we find new books, and what the industry can do to support our continued engagement. You’re not going to learn all of that just from data mining and market research firms.
All in all, BookCon was pretty cool. As you can see from the photos, I picked up quite a few books. The cost of admission was $65 for the two days. I figured that if I got at least sixty-five books that would be the equivalent of having paid One Dollar per book. Well, I came home with eighty-two books (not counting two free audio books) which works out to $65/82 books, or $0.79 per book. So I’m considering all of these books Dollar Read$ and as such, declaring them eligible for the Dollar Read$ Challenge. Ta-da!