BookExpo America – The Golden Age of Reading

From May 29th to June 1st, the De Marque team was on location in the digital discovery zone of BookExpo America in New York City. BookExpo America is the biggest book fair in the United States: more than 20,000 people packed the halls of the Javits Center to discover the latest in publishing and technological innovations. This event allows various stakeholders of the book industry to share information, to network and find new business partners.

Readers from around the world came together en masse to gather as many books as they could carry (including several new titles not yet available in bookstores) and to collect autographs from their favorite authors. Many book addicts even arrived with an extra empty suitcase to maximise their spoils for the trip home! Others were less encumbered, their trusted e-reader in tow, downloading their favorite books on the spot and getting autographs from such guests as Ishmael Beah (The Radiance of Tomorrow), Wally Lamb (We Are Water), Ann Romney, the Grumpy Cat and actor Jim Carrey, among others.

The Latest Cultural Revolution

The digital era is well underway. It is now possible, with a simple click, to access literature from around the world. For Publishers Lunch creator Michael Cader, these developments raise many questions: “Fiction performs well in digital format, but what about non-fiction? If self-publishing grows, will literary agents become editors-producers? How many incredible innovations can be consolidated in order to better serve the mass market?”

Now that BookExpo America has come and gone, I am left with a general impression that we do indeed live in exciting times, where everything changes at meteoric speed. If my grandparents experienced tremendous changes to their quality of life, then my generation, beyond any doubt, is in the midst of a large-scale of technological revolution. Digitalisation has indeed transformed our world into a global village, and books have never been so accessible for so many people.

A new world is in creation; it is up to us to participate in its evolution!

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