I have a feeling weâ€™ll miss the airy dome of the old Olympia hall, and the astonishingly crowded aisles, when weâ€™re in the distant reaches of Docklands next year. The new venue is called ExCeL, which seems a bit â€˜90s. The Google banner wonâ€™t offer the temporal contrast it did this year, hanging against the Victorian balustrade.
Last year I walked into the London Book Fair for the first time and within minutes someone called my name. It was my boss from my first summer publishing job, in 1979. Derek was the journals manager at Blackwell Scientific then, and Iâ€™d been sent there by a secretarial agency. We had lunch this year and he said, â€œI actually grabbed your arm, didnâ€™t I? I was so sure it was you.â€
Everyone asks, â€œHave you had a good Fair?â€ and I must say itâ€™s been quite wonderful to see both British and American colleagues and plan for distribution of our print and electronic publications. At home, my attention is focused on a hundred immediate tasks at once, and on our current titles. Itâ€™s good to be reminded of how fast 2006 (and 2007) approaches, by people saying, â€œWhat comes next, when can we announce another publication?â€
Iâ€™ve had word that the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History has been chosen a Library Journal Best Reference 2004, and also that thereâ€™s been a wonderful review in Against the Grain. More on that shortly!
And on the subject of old acquaintance, here something interesting from the Google Blog.