London Book Fair 2009 – Final Day – Boris in Book vs Playstation Wars

Our report headline is about as exciting as it got. Plenty of deep discussion in huddled corners of trade stands and some agreements reached, but it was a quieter London Book Fair than previous years. The emphasis was on quality of content and discussion rather than the amount of trade stands or footfalls.

In the coming weeks and months we may be able to better gauge the quality of these agreements – the ones signed – as well as the ones sealed with a handshake. Publishing has very much arrived at an age of digitisation, and it formed the core of many formal and informal debates throughout the three days.

Boris Johnson, London’s Lord Mayor, fittingly gave the Fairs keynote speech this morning and underlined the challenges for publishers in these changing and recessionary times. It was pretty much a ‘fear not, but go forward and don’t mind them lads in Google’ kind of speech. Boris had his own ideas on who the enemy was. “I don’t think the Internet is the threat it is supposed to be. I see only one threat, only one real challenge to the importance and attractiveness of books, one common foe…The Playstation!”

I don’t think the guys and gals from Sony were too happy!

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