Anniversary publishing

The publishing world loves a good anniversary. From Dickens and Austen to Penguin and The Gruffalo, celebrating authors, books and publishing houses is big business.   I must admit, I sometimes get caught up in the hype of these things and quite like the marking of anniversaries. I find it a nice chance to look back on works that might not have had much attention for a while, to rediscover books that I love that are suddenly thrust back into the spotlight. The publishing industry naturally sees this as a money making exercise as much as anything else, but if highlighting books in this way encourages a new generation to read them, to me this is a good thing.

However, part of me also thinks that a significant amount of time should have passed between the original publication date and the anniversary celebrations. There is a question, I suppose, of how soon is too soon. There is also a question of which anniversaries are significant – 10 years? 25? 150? And does it have to be a nice round number? For commercial purposes the publishing industry certainly seems to think so. But sometimes I like the more random celebrations, a la Google Doodles – who could forget the 540th birthday of Copernicus, or fail to want to celebrate 154 years since the birth of George Ferris?



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