On Sunday, September 17, as part of our on-going celebration of our thirty–fifth anniversary, Library of America made its first appearance at the Brooklyn Book Festival, joining more than 200 other booksellers in the Festival’s “Literary Marketplace” in downtown Brooklyn.
By all accounts the debut was a success. With a prominent corner booth close by the Festival’s center stage, we saw a steady stream of visitors, more than 400 of whom signed up for our e-mail newsletter and free Story of the Week feature. By doing so, they entered a raffle to win one of four Library of America book sets, an eclectic group of offerings—ranging from short stories to history, poetry to science fiction—that met with unmistakable enthusiasm.
Novelist Jonathan Lethem took time out of his busy festival schedule (and braved a blazing afternoon sun) to visit the booth and sign copies of the new LOA anthology Shake It Up: Great American Writing on Rock and Pop from Elvis to Jay Z, which he co-edited with literary critic and music historian Kevin Dettmar. Local indie bookseller WORD Bookstore was kindly on hand to take care of sales.
In all, it was a rewarding day, a welcome opportunity to meet passionate and curious readers—some longtime fans of Library of America, some who knew about our books but not about the nonprofit mission behind them, and some altogether new to us. We hope to see all of them, and plenty of new faces, when we come back to the Festival next year.