Books are Alive and Well | BookExpo America Day 1

Those minions who have blown taps for books may end up shoving their horns in an uncomfortable place if the throngs jamming the Jacob Javits Center’s showfloor for BookExpoa America are any indication of the eternal allure of books, whether in print, audio, or digital forms.

I arrived at Javits at about 8:15 yesterday morning‚ 45 minutes before BEA kicked off‚ and there already were massive lines at every door. People were standing, sitting on the floor, talking, reading, etc., and the lines got longer‚Ķand longer‚Ķand longer. When the showfloor opened at 9, a flood of bodies poured in, attacking the aisles like an invading horde.

The exhibit floor is a wonder of books/galleys, audiobooks, authors, chachkas, and loads of freebies galore. Librarians were there in droves and LJ‘s Librarians Lounge was hopping all day. It was refreshing to see all the librarians since I encountered exactly none the previous day at the Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC).

Librarians: Audio Superheroes
Although APAC, understandably, is an industry show and not geared for librarians, it was gratifying to see how paramount librarians are to audiobooks’ success. APAC is a different animal other trade shows I attend including BEA because it’s a much smaller group and there’s a pleasant we’re all in this together vibe coming from attendees who range from publishers to narrators and other industry folk‚ and even a fan who just came to see what it was all about.

The two librarians I did encounter there were panelists. My old boss Nora Rawlinson and LJ’s own Barbara Genco proved without a doubt that audiobooks owe their success to public libraries, which are the leading lifeline between that industry and consumers.

Goodreads CEO Otis Chandler’s stats showed that a majority of goodreads’ users get their audios from libraries as well. I wish that someone had said Let’s have a standing ovation for librarians, who are putting our titles in the public’s hands and keeping us employed!

Librarians are the superheroes of the audiobook world‚ it’s not the authors, publishers, or narrators, it’s you! So, I salute librarians. Thanks for everything you do to promote audiobooks to the public.

(See my formal report on APAC)

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.