Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Last Book Party

by Gideon Lewis-Kraus

The overall impression created by Lewis-Kraus's report on the Frankfurt Book Fair is that if the book, as that term has referred to a physical thing for centuries, is going to sink out of our cultural sphere like the Titanic, than the book industry is going to stay in the dining hall listening to the band play.

The Fair, as described here, does not seem to give the impression of an industry in its death throes. There is some discussion of the e-book, and of a new, light on the advance approach to publishing, but for the most part, Lewis-Kraus focuses his eye on the wheeling, dealing, and partying that is part and parcel of this famous book fair.

There are excellent short sketches of a number of interesting 'characters' from the book world, and this article exposes the truth about the industry: everyone either wins a Booker, or they are nominated. I find it interesting that publishers and editors can take as much credit for the prestigious prize as the people who actually wrote the book.

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