Sunday, September 13, 2009

Brooklyn Book Festival

The Fourth Annual Brooklyn Book Festival was kind of a madhouse, but I mean that in the best way possible. I've been going since '06 and this year lines snaked around corners. No joke. Whether you wanted to check out readings or panel discussions in St. Francis College auditorium, the Courthouse, even the Community Room was jam packed. Okay I'll admit it, I didn't stick around long enough to hear Jonathan Lethem. He went on at 5 o'clock and I'd already skedaddled. I had to catch Del Potro and Nadal.

The big highlights for me were snagging free copies of Poets and Writers back issues (don't worry I'm waiting for my new subscription) and watching a fierce contest of name that author hosted by the National Book Critic Circle. Martha Southgate blew away the comp with 30 points. She took home a cool medallion.

I did have the chance to attend a panel discussion covering Literature in a Digital Age held in the Community Room. John Freeman editor-in-chief at Granta was one of the panelists and Maud Newton moderated. Basically, the Web 2.0 has fractured and yet at the same time connected us in a more profound way. Yup. During the Q and A an audience member asked how long it will take for the U.S to have Cellphone text novels like in Japan. Nobody wanted to touch the question with an Analog nor a Digital signal, but my feeling is this, even if it does get to that point, which it will- seeing as many people totally gaga over printed books and the writers and editors who love them too made me breath with a sigh of relief.

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