The US National Book Foundation will honour American Booksellers Association c.e.o. Oren J Teicher with a lifetime achievement accolade at the 70th National Book Awards.
Bel Canto author and independent bookstore owner author Ann Patchett will present Teicher with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community on 20th November in New York.
Teicher has been recognised for championing and advocating for independent bookshops during his 30-year publishing career. Under Teicher’s ABA leadership from 2009 to 2019, the number of independent bookstores in the United States increased from 1,651 to 2,534, according to the ABA.
The c.e.o. spearheaded the US trade body’s IndieBound scheme which helps aims to create community among independent booksellers and publishers while encouraging readers to shop “local first”. The ABA boss has campaigned for fair and sustainable tax laws for retailers as well as creating more awareness of independent booksellers through the media.
Chairman of the board of directors of the National Book Foundation David Steinberger said: “Booksellers and the publishing world at large could not have hoped for a more passionate and effective advocate than they found in Oren Teicher. For three decades at the ABA, Teicher has been an absolute champion for booksellers, readers, writers, publishers, and independent bookstores across the nation, and the thriving state of bookselling reflects that work.”
National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas added: “We are lucky enough to be at a moment where, across the nation, books are rising. But this moment of essential recognition for books and booksellers would have looked very different were it not for enormous resilience shown by indies and the teams that support them, navigated steadfastly by Oren Teicher. We are grateful for where those efforts have taken us - a position from which we can joyfully look toward a continued, rich literary future.”
Teicher announced in March his plans to retire by the end of the year. He has been in his chief executive role since 2009 after first joining ABA as associate executive director in 1990.
Former NBA winners, finalists, and judges, as well as other US-based writers and literary professionals make nominations for the Literarian Award, with final decision lying with the ABA’s board of directors.
The Literarian Award is in its 15th year and celebrates the lifetime achievement in growing book audiences. Recipients are awarded $10,000. Past recipients include Dr. Maya Angelou, Joan Ganz Cooney, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Terry Gross, Kyle Zimmer, literary organisation Cave Canem, Richard Robinson, and last year the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Doron Weber.