My Rite to Read

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yay, it's A PIG WORLD!!

Book Cultures and Book Events 2012

The book is 4D. Live events support the book. Books point us to authors, and authors are becoming transcultural to keep up with better books and new media; different branches of industry are connecting to make publishing work, whether as a oneman job or an everyman's job throughout the contagion of business models. Academics congregated to discuss the state of the industry and book culture, and some expressed that professionals (particularly publishers) should take the time out to think like academics even as they go on about their business.  

Few things struck me as memorable from the two days: 

Informal chatter from formal personnas in the p'ig (publishing)world.

Live events being great marketing opportunities, but also revolving around the book, book theater, not thankfully being simply booksy ( I'm not at all convinced by the link-article in how it judges book aesthetics) were other aspects of the two day cultural theory program.

All kinds of speakers enriched the occasion. From Slovenia's Miha Kovic to scholars from the University of Paris, Peggy Hughes, Crime Novelist and Bloody Scotland's Lin Anderson, and several well known scholars from universities and publishing houses in England and abroad, there were diverse observations on the book, facts  opinion and practices, predating the sixteenth century up into the present with predictions for the future, including Martian musings on what publishing might look like in 2025. On the other hand, ambiance and the opportunity for souvenirs were cited important factors while thinking about the future of the bookshop as a cultural venue. 

Student? Writer? Reader? Publisher? App admirer? Mixed generation

Peggy Hughes from the UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh, with Lumphanan press' Duncan Lockerbie




An academic pondering the future of bookshops and striking a benevolent pose  
Despite the rise of social networks, and power shift from editorial to consumer-editorial, good editors should be informed by data and consumer behaviour, rather than be driven by it. Amazon is not a bookseller, but a market grabber, a giant retailer of all things, and is certainly not a brand with a mission for books and better reading. What was especially heartening was that social media marketing took only the backdrop, as an accessory, a tool to the actual discussions on the book that took place.  In fact, budget and marketing strategy will always only wrap itself around vibrant editorial concepts. Alastair Horne discussed some extremely interesting facts about ebooks, apps and digital pricing models.

But the secret to a successful book festival is a book festival with a heart added, Lin Anderson. Authors should float about like in a bar, not glued to a high chair.

Puzzling question of the day: what is the point of a website for Damian Horner?! 

There are more cities I would like to see in the UNESCO Creative Cities list. If small countries can save the festival, independent publishers can save the industry. Bookshops  could strive to become destinations for the wealthy, offering boutique experiences for local folk. But I mean, if saving the bookshop was about saving a Crosswords or a Waterstones (how unambitious!), I don't think i really care to visit one, ever. I'd rather shop for clothes in the mall and continue buying new books on Amazon and borrowing older stock from the library.  

The utterly lucid event was held on its second day in the lovely Iris Murdoch center with stunning views of the city from this home of Dementia Studies. Of course, being bilingual is a whole other cure