Anyone in children's book publishing who has already booked their travel to the 2013 Bologna Book Fair may have noticed that flights were slightly more expensive than usual, and accommodations more scarce. They may have also noticed that the fair will overlap with two religious holidays: Passover and Good Friday. The fair is set for March 25-28 and conflicts with the Jewish holiday (which begins on Monday night, March 25) and the Christian one (which takes place the day after the fair ends, on March 29). Although the timing is not prohibiting many in the industry from attending, it is an overlap fairgoers are lamenting.

The unfortunate scheduling of book fairs is not a foreign concept to veterans of the publishing business. The Frankfurt Book Fair scheduled its annual trade show during the Jewish holidays more than once. Since that fair takes place in Germany, the scheduling conflicts with the Jewish holidays became a particularly sensitive issue, with some claiming the roots of the overlap lay in anti-Semitism. (In 1986, when that book fair was scheduled during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Putnam canceled its booth and said it would not attend.) With Bologna, the conflict is far less controversial but, as many pointed out, a bit inconvenient.

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