BOOK EXPO Day 1 JUN 5 Tues Quality survives!
Quality in book form survives! Refreshing oases of fine works amid the BEA scrum Superb reprints add to lustre of university press bookshelves Chicago reprinting Richard Stark's spare, jewel-like crime novels A visit to the BEA at Javits last week found beauty and idealism are still going strong in the book world, despite the colorful commercial cacophony and the ever lengthening inroads of the printed word in electronic format, which has now reached the stage of seeing major books such as economist Paul Krugman's latest released as iPad app. We forecast that even for such distinguished authors the electronic book will soon blossom into text plus copious annotated illustrations plus multiple videos, if the trends we discern continue. From Dave Eggers' McSweeney's and Macpherson Publishing on Day 1 to University Row on Day 3, however, we found the Book Expo featured shining oases of literacy and fine editing and publishing amid a sea of more popular and expensively promoted books stretching in dazzling and colorful displays from one side of the huge cantilevered barn of Javits's top floor to the other. Adding its inspiration to these as usual was the magnificent BOOKSPAN bus outside the entrance ropes of the show, and on a table there the bright orange CSPAN bags free for the taking. These were seen being carried all over the Expo and its multitude of stands huge and small and especially on the third day, they proved very useful because they could be filled to bursting with volumes that the staff of the booths did not want to trouble to take home. Against such a cacophonous background the quality and the care devoted to the writing, editing and production of the university and fine publishing product was moving to find, and it reassured one that the inroads of the ebook and the Internet into the market for trade publishing might still be growing apace but the electronic empire will not soon destroy the wonderfully informed and illustrated work of the great university publishers, whose consistently superb production values ensure that in our eyes they remain the great repository and provider of the best new thinking, and most reliably informative and up to date text on the planet, not to mention that quite often now they keep reprinting the great works of fiction in fine looking editions. Photos: The first day at Book Expo 2012, covered from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. Exposures with longer shutter to capture deeper color, will be brightened later.Read More