Ah but its good to come home to memory lane. I’ve been out and about a bit in rather a busy way over the past couple of weeks.
However, I have been doing some interesting things. A couple of weeks ago I was part of a panel discussion on the future of books at the Taranaki Arts Festival. Among other things, I discovered that New Plymouth is a rather excellent town to go for your first weekend away with partner but without kids in seven years. Great art gallery, museum and pub. The festival was also rather memorable in that it introduced me to the concept and reality of the Spiegeltent. I never knew such things existed but am now very glad to know that they do.
The panel was fun, a good discussion and plenty of questions from the 60 or so strong audience. Bookseller Tilly Lloyd’s view is online here. My talk was delivered from notes rather than a written out speech, but you are likely to read its main themes here very soon. Interestingly, about a third of the audience were already using an ereader and well over half expected to be using one soon. I’m not sure why I was surprised at this as the world is, after all, increasingly joined up. Perhaps this Guardian editorial is right.
I’ve found some new sources that I’m quite taken with, especially the Elitzr podcast series which is excellent. I very much enjoyed the Richard Nash interview (who is also worth looking at here) and Seth Godin’s talk. There was a lot of stuff in the Godin edition I found fascinating, particularly his view that books need to be designed to be infectious. But I confess that I found myself strangely saddened by his comment that bookshops will become ‘giftshops for smart people’. He may be right but somehow I can’t quite buy into that just yet. Indeed I’m not even sure why I can’t buy into it. Which means I’ll probably have to write about it.