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Why Don't They Have Awards for Books?

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  • Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #1201904603

    I mean, there’s the Oscars for film, Grammys for Music, Emmys for television, Tonys for stage, and so on… why isn’t there a well-known award ceremony dedicated to the best in books annually? I always wondered that because it seems like there’s some really great books that never get a lot of recognition that way.

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    GusCruz
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    #1201904611

    Actually, there are quite a few awards dedicated to honoring books.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #1201904777

    I mean like an actual awards like the Oscars, not just like The Newberry award for other such stuff.

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    Xtina
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    #1201904875

    Honey, no one wants to watch a boring ass awards show about books. #ByeFelicia

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    GusCruz
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    #1201905000

    Honey, no one wants to watch a boring ass awards show about books. #ByeFelicia

    Writers are usually the ones who give the most resounding speeches.

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    OnTheAisle
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    #1201905805

    I enjoy following two Book Awards.

    The first is the National Book Awards. Nominees will be announced October 12 with winners on November 16.

    The other is Man Booker Awards. They have already announced their long list last month.

    Paul Beatty (US) The Sellout
    J.M. Coetzee (South African-Australian) The Schooldays of Jesus
    A.L. Kennedy (UK) Serious Sweet
    Deborah Levy (UK) Hot Milk
    Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK) His Bloody Project
    Ian McGuire (UK) The North Water
    David Means (UK) Hystopia
    Wyl Menmuir (UK) The Many
    Ottessa Moshfegh (US) Eileen
    Virginia Reeves (US) Work Like Any Other
    Elizabeth Strout (US) My Name Is Lucy Barton
    David Szalay (Canada-UK) All That Man Is
    Madeleine Thien (Canada) Do Not Say We Have Nothing

    McGuire, Coetzee and Beatty are the likely frontrunners at this point. Fans of Olive Kitteridge may well be interested in the writer’s newest work My Name is Lucy Barton.

    I am holding out for the surprise nominee Virginia Reeves and her compelling novel of marriage and prison in 1920s Alabama, Work Like Any Other. I found it an accessible text with profound insights. A worthwhile endeavor.

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    jjjmoss
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    #1201905810

    Books are not a visual medium so it makes sense there isn’t a feeling that a televised award for them would be worth the effort to air.

    I think most people have heard of the Pulitzers at least.
    But book awards also don’t tend towards the obviously popular so those who might wanna watch a book award with ‘highbrow’ tastes would be quite a small number.

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    AMG
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    #1201907039

    There are just SO many books, having to get judges to read them all, plus the accessibility for audiences with these kinds of awards would prohibit it.

    Also, aside from Best Book, what other prizes could be offered? Unless you do Best in Genre for everything?

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    Atypical
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    #1201907779

    There’s many book awards:

    Pulitzers
    National Book Award
    Man Booker Prize
    National Book Critics Circle
    PEN/Faulkner
    Newberry

    You could also count the Nobel Prize for Literarure as a “competition,” though we don’t know any sort of longlists for the prize.

    I do my part by making posts in the “READERS” thread about these book awards. Some of them do press conferences and dinners/galas to announce the winners, but no, nothing splashy and televised like the Oscars, sorry.

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    AnDres Gtz
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    #1201908639

    Pulitzer?…

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    Boidiva02
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    #1201908699

    I think what the thread poster was trying to allude to is why none of the book awards are televised, and of course it would make sense that lack of interest would be the answer… But still it seems odd that PBS or some niche cable station never thought about or pursued filming and airing one of the publishing awards ceremonies.

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    Volcarocka
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    #1201908919

    A few thoughts on a televised books awards show, in the style of the Oscars:

    1. I’d watch the heck out of that.
    2. Very few others would.

    Since *most* authors are not particularly well-known, with a few *cough* JK Rowling *cough* exceptions, a televised book awards show would draw very few viewers. Also, it would be difficult for many people to read all of the nominees before awards were held, and it would just generally be a low-ratings, high-expense disaster. Non-televised awards shows continue to be the best way for experts to recommend good books.

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    jjjmoss
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    #1201909012

    Yeah, for example, if you look at the T100 book sellers this year on Amazon, only 3 are fiction(/adjacent) published this year:
    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
    Hamilton: The Revolution
    the latest Percy Jackson.
    There’s a lot of, like, coloring books, picture books, required reading, and self-help.

    I can’t especially see a respectable group’s choices having a ton in common with the few breakouts each year that might maybe get people to tune in.

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