The Bookbinders’ Guild of New York Celebrates Book Show’s 20th Anniversary
The New York Book Show, which awards quality in the design, graphics, production, printing and binding of books, is considered by many people in the industry to be one of the most prestigious events on the annual book-publishing calendar.
The Bookbinders’ Guild of New York staged the annual event—which is celebrating its 20th year—March 20th at Café St. Barts on Park Avenue in New York City, and this year, unlike the previous few, it didn’t even snow. A great white tent covering the outdoor terrace, which serves as an outdoor cafe when the weather is warmer, greeted those who attended the show. On entering the tent, show-goers caught a glimpse of the show inside through the entryway on the far end. There, in a room bedecked with orchids, and gold and silver balloons, the award winners—chosen from more than a thousand entries in a day of judging that took place just before Thanksgiving—filled the Great Hall at St. Barts, where a piano player tucked in a corner alcove provided the background music for a crowd of well over 500.
The winners came from five main categories—children’s books, general trade, special trade, scholarly and reference, and school—subdivided into smaller categories, such as children’s trade, graphic novels, quality paperback, photography and special trade over $75.
In addition, Best in Category awards were chosen from all of the first-place winners in each of the five main categories. Each main category was judged by a panel of five judges from all areas in the industry—an editor or publisher, a designer, an art director, a supplier and a production professional.
This year’s New York Book Show, also coincided with the Bookbinders Guild of New York’s 80th anniversary, which the guild is commemorating with a series of special events throughout the year, including the recent tribute to past guild presidents, held in February.
The Book Show was the result of a year-long effort by a committee of volunteers—and it is the largest committee in the guild—co-chaired by Lou Bilka, Renata Butera (Pearson Education), and Tracy Cabanis (Alfred A. Knopf), who oversaw the various subcommittees involved in setting up the event, coordinating the judging process, fundraising, gathering the submissions, creating the show catalog, making the awards for the winners, and creating the graphics for the posters, invitations and catalog cover.
Work is already underway for the 21st Annual New York Book Show, which will again be timed to coincide with the Book Business Conference & Expo, March 5-7, 2007, also held in New York City. Judging will take place in November, with the call for entries announced around Oct. 1.
For more information on the Book Show, visit the Guild’s Web site at
Steve Bedney is a sales rep for Ecological Fibers Inc. and has served as the chair of the Bookbinders’ Guild’s program, education and newsletter committees, and as secretary, vice president and president of the Guild. He is the current ex officio of the guild.