I take great pleasure in eavesdropping in the few languages I know a little of, and in identifying others. But I’m simply overwhelmed at the London (International) Book Fair. I especially enjoyed a Chinese publishers’ booth; it felt so good to be surrounded by people speaking Chinese. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t understand a word, and the conversation rekindled my desire to learn to say more than please and thank you. Both our Human-Computer Interaction and World Sport will adapt well for Chinese readership, and we have the Beijing Olympics in 2008 in mind, too.
The Book Fair is held at Olympia, a rather wonderful old exhibition center. It looks Victorian, though perhaps it’s 20th and not 19th century, and sadly the Fair has outgrown it: it’s crowded and hard to navigate, and apparently a nightmare for exhibitors to get their trucks into. And it’s on a sort of appendix to the District line, a tiny addition that comes here and nowhere else, so about as inconvenient as anywhere in central London.
But next year it’ll be held in glam, high-tech Docklands, where London’s developed to an extraordinary degree in the last 10 years. LBF 2006
I’m blogging from the international lounge sponsored by the British Council, happy to have been allowed entry even though it’s primarily for people from developing and emerging economies, as they put it. The British Council Library was a lifesaver when we visited Almaty, Kazakhstan, a few years ago, and again I have to thank them for a welcome respite (and the Internet).