Books for the Teen Age – NYPL

The New York Public Library held this event which allowed librarians, authors and publishers to get together in a large room and…well, now that’s the question. I still don’t know what the purpose behind this gathering, held 79th times now. There were many of this year’s various teen level books on display, with chairs surrounding the tables allowing for one to sit and browse—provided that you wanted to guarantee that no one could get to any of the other books in your section and couldn’t pass by you because the tables were inexplicably packed together. After far too long of this, Sandra Payne, the NYPL coordinator of YA services had us sit down and gave out prizes to three women (two with the same hairstyle, to make for one vague teenager) for designing the cover catalogue of the event. PS in NYC there is a school called Art and Design, why couldn’t they get in the running? Get it together people. She then interminable read off the names of various people involved and the authors present. I was going to kill myself after a half hour of this until I realized Mick Foley was among us and the knowledge that I was going to get a picture of us together (by any means necessary) gave me the fortitude to endure. As an aside, he was really nice! The main/only activity of the afternoon was a speech by Robert Lypsyte in which he gave an eloquent and scathing rebuke of the publishing world for focusing primarily on books for women and for society for allowing boys to grow up without the intellectual guidance that fiction has to offer. There were those who felt his words were too generalized, but I whole-heartedly support him; as he pointed out: would Eliot Spitzer, George W. Bush, and Michael Vick be the people they are if they had read more novels?