I went to this auspicious celebration of books n stuff last Tuesday.
This 3 day event isn't really aimed at bookshops, which I know sounds a bit stupid, but (as the front page of the website says), it's a place where people negotiate rights and distribution of titles. However, it's also a good place to say hello to bookish people and have a nose at stuff you might have missed.
I shall precis what I did that day with appropriate photos.
1. I cycled there and back. I was Augustus Windsock
2. People I had the pleasure in meeting included.
The ever gorgeous Mark Farley, hanging out with some lovely burlesque dancers at the xcite books stand.
The wonderfully talented Tania Glyde making every second count and attending seminars and twittering about the whole experience.
The superspecial Rosie Furber , who has a new book out later this year which I hope we can help celebrate.
Little Tiger Press's very own Lauren 'Lozza' Ace, who showed me some brilliant books and also gave me 2 marshmallow flumps and a pizza.
Anova Books very lovely Mandy Jameson, who joined me at the Cool Camping stand, where we sat in deckchairs and chatted about stuff n that. I've known Mandy since my bookselling days in Bristol (pre 1994) when she was the rep for Mainstream books, and she is brilliant, funny and (in the nicest possible way) has one of the best laughs i've ever heard.
I also visited the Gallic Press stand to thank them for producing such a wonderful selection of books, as well as popping over to the Snowbooks stand and saying hello to Robert. Snowbooks is trooly wunnerful ladeezngenelmen, and you really should check out the list of books they produce.
One person I didn't see there was Scott Pack. I owe him a Toblerone, after my skills at gambling were exposed for all to see. I took the said article... with me in the hope that I could present him with his well deserved confectionary treat, but alas there was no Friday Project stand and despite the epic size of the Harper collins stand it was clear I would be carrying the mighty penthadron shaped snack back home again.
I also saw this thing It is the Espresso Book Machine, which in theory is a machine supposed to be able to print the book you want in a matter of minutes. As Borat might say 'wa wa wee wa'. It's all very exciting...until you think about it for a minute.
When I go into a bookshop, I browse. I don't necessarily know what I want. I like to be surprised and excited by books that I didn't know existed or had forgotten about. I usually look at the tables, displays and shelves and generally find something that I didn't know I wanted, but that is wonderful. I don't always know what I want, so relying on a machine like this (whilst useful up to a point) will destroy the serendipitous moments of discovering the best book you've read in ages. That's what I reckon.
Anyway, I then cycled home where I passed;This Phonebox. Note the phone sex cards inside, plus the london bus and the london cab in the background. If a beefeater had walked past at the same time it would have capped it off perfectly.
I also stopped on the way hoe for this can of Lager
and as I drank it I enjoyed the company of this pigeon
His name is Colin.