Department of Poor Planning

The news that New York Is Book Country is returning after a three year hiatus should make me happy, with all the fond memories I have of attending several fairs. But instead, I feel the exact opposite after reading this story in PW Daily because of the utterly boneheaded decision to schedule NYIBC on the very same day of the Brooklyn Book Festival:

Brooklyn Book Festival organizers are not happy: New York Is Book Country, on hiatus for the past three years, has been revived—and while it was initially planned to run in July 2008, it

has changed its date and will now run the very same day as the Brooklyn

fest next year: September 14. Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple,

one of the Brooklyn fair’s lead organizers, said, “I’m flabbergasted by

their poor decision making. The spirit of the book publishing business

is very collegial, and it’s rare to see such a flagrant violation of

that spirit.” Even the AAP, which is not officially involved in either

event, seems baffled by NYIBC’s decision. “There are 365 dates in the

year to choose from, where the city can celebrate its literary richness

and culture in many a borough and community. I would hope that there is

a way to spread the bookish wealth in New York across multiple days

throughout the year,” said AAP v-p Tina Jordan.

But NYIBC is not changing its date. Show head Tore Erickson, who is also sales director at Kirkus Reviews, which owns NYIBC, told PW,

“We’re too far along in the process.” Erickson said the decision to

hold NYIBC on the same day as the Brooklyn festival was not made

“maliciously.” Still, he and his colleagues were well aware that the

Brooklyn Book Festival was being held Sept. 14 when they chose that


Maliciously, my ass. Well, I suppose it’s “possible” that there weren’t too many dates to choose from in the fall, especially taking into account Jewish holidays but….really. Especially if NYIBC hasn’t even been granted permits.