When the spread of the coronavirus began to force bookstores and other businesses to shut down, Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt told PW that one way the industry can survive is if books are deemed essential items. While not all government officials and business executives agreed, a number of industry members began to use the slogan “Books Are Essential” to support their businesses. PW has chosen the phrase as the focal point of an effort to highlight the role books play in the health of American culture. With that in mind, we asked industry members to mimic our cover design, and, to borrow a line from an old AAP campaign, “get caught reading” in support of books.

The #BooksAreEssential campaign, which brings attention to the importance of books to the health of American culture, continues to gain momentum. Hundreds of industry members have posted pictures of themselves mimicking our April 20 issue’s cover across our social media platforms. The campaign has also drawn international participation, with people from numerous countries now taking part.

The #BooksAreEssential campaign to promote the importance of books to culture picked up more global support in recent weeks, as well as the backing of a growing number of authors. PW thanks all industry members who are taking part in the campaign.