Thursday, 10 April 2014

Fun at the London Book Fair

It's that time of the year again when everybody who is anybody, and quite a number who are nobody, all converge on the exhibition hall at Earl's Court for the London Book Fair. To be a genuine fair-goer, it is essential that you can hail an obscure contact by his or her Christian name without referring to their badge, and can high-five someone on the 'down' escalator as you ride the 'up' without breaking your arm.

London Book Fair, Earl's Court. Mice in a maze.
Let's be honest about it all, the LBF is just a big jamboree. No work is done. Any deals 'made' at the fair have already been negotiated, they merely announce them at the fair. 

Has Africa learned it all then?
I go every year to deliver my home-made marmalade to my printers -- it keeps them sweet -- and to drop in on an occasional publishing house and remark, 'You remember that title of mine that you rejected last year? Well it is now in its fourth impression.' That is also sweet.

Go up on the balcony and watch the fairgoers dither like laboratory mice as they wander up and down the alleyways, searching for a direction; laugh at the Japanese lady who tows a low suitcase through the crowd and fells half a dozen people who do not look down before they move; giggle at the office juniors, out for the day, trying not to fall off their high heels as they negotiate right-angled corners.

But don't go there to do any useful work.

No comments:

Post a Comment