Friday, April 18, 2008
A London Book Fair to remember
PN reflects on the deals and debates over a busy three days at the London Book Fair 2008THAT A SERVING prime minister with no memoirs to plug deemed the London Book Fair worthy of a visit surely set the seal of approval on an event that, for much of its 37-year history, has struggled to find a raison d'être. Gordon Brown's surprise visit on Monday afternoon was for an “in conversation” with Sebastian Faulks and he talked again about his life-long love of reading. Margaret Hodge, Minister State at the DCMS, in the PA's keynote discussion about “the value of publishing to society”, spoke not only about the educative, entertaining and empowering value of books, but of literature and publishing as the most important elements in the UK's creative economy. And, at the Chairman's Breakfast, Dr Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, spoke of literature as a bridge to greater understanding between nations. In short, books really do matter and so, by extension, does the LBF.