Recap—The 60th Annual New England Book Show

Recap—The 60th Annual New England Book Show

On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, we hosted a celebration for the ages, honoring the 60th anniversary of the New England Book Show and the 80th anniversary of Bookbuilders of Boston.

We rented the Cohen Wing of Symphony Hall, displaying an exhibit of winning entries from the past 60 years in the Miller Room and presenting this year’s winning entries in Higginson Hall. The special exhibit would not have been possible without the amazing staff at Boston College’s Burns Library (where the archive is housed)—thank you, we love you! Set up was a breeze thanks to our wonderful, dedicated book show committee!

Guests came pouring in by 5:30pm—the wine flowed as people became reunited with old friends, reminisced with former colleagues, and met new friends. Bookbuilders of Boston has an uncanny ability to bring everyone together, that’s one thing I really love about this organization. We have a collective passion for the publishing industry in New England, and we want to see it thrive.

This year, we presented the W.A. Dwiggins Award to Tom Plain, Vice President of Book Publishing Sales at King Printing Company, Inc. Tom is one of the kindest people I’ve met in a long time, and he has made numerous contributions to the publishing community. Alex Green of Publisher’s Weekly covered the event (eek!), and he wrote a wonderful summary of Tom’s speech.

Everyone then received a glass of champagne as Iris, our fearless president, took to the podium to commemorate the two anniversaries. She told me afterwards that the sight of everyone holding up their glasses to toast Bookbuilders of Boston was an incredibly beautiful moment.

Now, time for FOOD! Rosie and I picked out a menu especially for this evening, and boy did the catering team at the BSO deliver—tender short ribs, creamy parmesan polenta, and two refreshing salads. Oh, and did we mention we had not one, but two cakes?

At around 7:15pm, Michele Brennan came to the podium to thank our exceptionally generous sponsors, without whom this event would not be made possible. Then, Rosie and I each made a speech to honor the evening and to thank everyone involved. Rosie announced that Scott Meyers of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Isabel Tran of Vista Higher Learning will take over as co-chairs for the 61st New England Book Show in 2018.

With all formalities aside, I had more time to take in the evening’s festivities. I witnessed laughter, deep conversation, awe at the books on display, and excitement at how far we’ve come as an industry. Bookbuilders of Boston is such a special organization, allowing for us all to celebrate the continuous achievements we book makers deliver, and to understand how much of an impact the New England region makes in that endeavor.

If you could not make it to the show but would like to purchase a copy of our catalog for $10 (beautifully designed by students at Emerson College), please visit our website.

Last but not least, I would like to extend a very special thank you to Ben Gebo, our talented photographer for the show, for capturing the event so beautifully.

The New England Book Show is a juried event that features a number of categories, including trade, juvenile, college and more, for work in both print and digital media. Finalists are selected for their design and production, and are displayed at the Book Show for all to admire.
To view a list of this year’s winning books click here.


Kristina DeMichele

About Kristina DeMichele

Kristina DeMichele recently earned her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. She now works for America's Test Kitchen as a Senior Email Content Marketing Coordinator where she writes about food every day. Kristina joined the New England Book Show committee in 2015 and was thrilled to co-chair the 59th and 60th annual shows. Her food blog is If That Dish Could Talk.