It’s hard to believe that this time last week I was eagerly anticipating one of the busiest weeks ever. I had the absolute pleasure of attending the London Book Fair for the first time, which was enthralling. As I stepped into the hall on the first day, dotted with the skeletons of stands, my excitement became a cool rush of energy. Soon the gathering crowds breathed a life into the building that buzzed rhythmically and I felt the heart of the industry beat. This is an industry I have wanted to be a part of for a long time and standing in that spot felt like validation of my part. I’ve met a lot of people who don’t have dreams like that, to my surprise, but I was in a place where every minute mattered to me a great deal. It’s a happiness that places you at the centre of the world.
For those I mentioned my little trip to, they were intrigued by what actually happens at the fair, so although I was predominantly working I tried to gather as much information from all around. After all, I hadn’t exactly known what to expect myself!
From my point of view, I was on a stand aiding the publisher I work for. The people who wandered around us varied from booksellers to writers and illustrators: a mixture of people looking for work / somewhere to submit or people looking to buy stock. There were also students making enquiries about internships or simply asking questions, and although I didn’t attend any I know there are talks from industry experts occurring throughout the day. I felt excited for the inquisitive faces. If publishing is something you would like to learn more about it’s a different kind of day and there’s a lot of friendly faces that are more than happy to talk. Plus you are surrounded by a beautiful collection of books all day. Even just looking over the displays is magnificent. Hopefully I have explained it well enough to put you in the picture.
At times I couldn’t stop smiling! I think it amused the people around me. But how can anyone not like books? It’s one of life’s mysteries, I’m sure. Nothing has made me so energised and motivated in a long while. All that’s left is say thanks a million times to that blessed moment.