14 April 20. As expected, Reed Exhibitions announced the cancellation of this year’s BookExpo and BookCon, which had initially been postponed from May to July. In a statement issued by fair director Jennifer Martin the organizers concluded: “As the pandemic has continued to escalate in the United States and we see the challenges it has brought for the book industry, it’s clear that 2020 is no longer a viable option for this community.” On the BookExpo website, she also pointed out that tickets for the two 2020 events will be automatically reimbursed.
Even though BookExpo and BookCon (formerly Book Expo America) were postponed from May to July this year, some of the major participants announced even then, that they would not follow the book fair organizers, Reed Exhibitions, in the postponement. After Penguin Random House, three of the other Big Five in publishing, i.e., Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Hachette, pulled out and appealed to the organizers to cancel this year’s events altogether. Now it seems that good sense has finally prevailed.
Javit Centre turned into makeshift hospital for Covid-19
According to the New York Times, the venue that was scheduled for both Book Expo and BookCon events, New York’s Javits Center, has already been requisitioned by the US-Army in order to turn it into a 1,000-bed makeshift hospital for Covid-19 cases. Governor Cuomo of New York state gives daily detailed press conferences with facts, science and numbers. One of these press conferences was held at Javits Centre on the West side of Manhattan in New York city over the week-end. On the other side of the ocean, London’s Excel exhibition center is also being turned into a medical center holding 4,000 beds for Covid-19 patients.