One of the most prominent book awards, The Audies, highlights the best in audiobooks from the previous year.  Announced Feb. 24, these award nominations feature 30 categories like Biography/Memoir, Fiction, History, Humor, Solo Narration, and Original Work.  Among the nominees are 2010 standouts like Delivering Happiness (Business/Educational), Fall of Giants (Fiction), Freedom (Literary Fiction), and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Nonfiction).

The awards will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 24, 2011, at The TimesCenter in New York City.  While this event is a big night for audio publishers, narrators, and authors alike, it makes little news waves outside of the book community.  I believe that books, a medium that encompasses over a million published works each year, should be honored on such a scale as film.

Yesterday, the world’s attention turned to Hollywood for the Oscars.  We marveled at the beautiful faces and fashion of the world’s most talented actors and actresses. In a time of such uncertainty, nothing helps us forget reality like the movies, but what really makes the movie is the story, many of which are adapted from books.  This year, six out of the 10 films nominated for best picture began as a book.

While there are hundreds of awards to honor books, one of the top four entertainment outlets are seemingly lost among extravagant global award shows for film, music, and theater.

I long for a world where people pay as much attention to books as they do movies; for a major network to air an awards show that pays homage and splendor to books just as they do movies.  The world’s best storytellers would show up to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments in literary fiction, nonfiction, and children’s stories. Authors can be just as fascinating as the actors who bring their stories to life; I know I would love to see them all turn up on the same night.

I can see it now, James Patterson steps out of a limo, lights, cameras, interviews (maybe the literary world could convince Ryan Seacrest to work the red carpet).  A colorful celebrity (possibly celebrity turned author, there are certainly enough to pick from) would emcee the night’s events as awards are given to the books that make us laugh, cry, learn, and ponder the world.

I enjoy movies just as much as the next person, and I watched Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony. But I spent time wondering what it would take to bring deserving books into the same spotlight.

Lindsey Levinsohn is a collection development specialist for OverDrive.

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