Suffocating at the Frankfurt book fair

Cities are great for many reasons, but for one reason they are not: The masses.

I hate it if I get rammed from all sides, feeling hot and dizzy, people squeezing past me to get from A to B.  It gets me all stressed and tired and frustrated.
And that was an aspect that followed me throughout the whole book fair. And the fact that there was hardly any food – although food there was plenty – for celiac’s (like me). So not only was I stressed and tired and frustrated, but also very hungry.

However, the book fair was quite interesting. The guest of honour was New Zealand, but we didn’t actually go and se

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e what they had to offer, since there was a MASSIVE queue for the building and we were already very tired by that time.

The fair apparently was something for people of all…realities. Outside especially there were tonnes of cosplay-characters. There were even people walking around in wedding dresses
(is there a manga with a bride?). There were Zeldas, Hobbits (they were presenting “the Hobbit”), that character from One Piece and too many I couldn’t identify. First question: When did they get up? And second question: WHY?

Fine, if they want to dress up like their favorite Anime/Manga character, I don’t care, but some just took it as an excuse to dress up as some creepy gothic. I was standing in the queue for chips (the only thing I could eat there) and there was this guy, all in black, black hair, black nails – and red contact lenses. That was so weird. And apparently he had never heard of that cool new intention: Deodorant. I was hungry, but I could hardly eat my chips after that. Next time, I’ll take my own sandwiches.

Oh and some of the cosplay-people couldn’t actually go inside because they were wearing wings. Huge, wide, feathery wings. WHY?

So, anyway, It was amazing just how many publishers there are out there and so many of them promising to publish your book. I must have picked up about 20 brochures and leaflets on my way through the fair and we bought an amazing calendar with pictures of wild animals. If you want to find a fantastic quality calendar – the book fair is the place to go. Seriously, the pictures are amazing.

There were quite a few authors there, reading from their book or signing it. Unfortunately, I didn’t know any of them. And surprisingly enough I didn’t wish to be on the other side of the book fair, signing my book. I think it’s because I don’t really like it being about the author. It’s supposed to be about the author and their work, not about them. I find it arrogant, in fact, when the name of the author is bigger than the title of the book.

Oh and another thing I don’t like is when people – let’s say – over 40 talk about what young people are like. I know, I know they were young once too – but that was quite a while ago. Things change constantly. As I’d said in my other post “when you go backstage”, we can not be categorized as the “young generation of today” – the drinking, excentric, violent and disrespectful one.

There was this guy presenting his book that he worked on for over 14 years, claiming it wasn’t an autobiography. The book is called “Wir in Kahlenbeck” by Christoph Peters and it’s about a catholic boarding school where boys are educated in religion and philosophy and ancient languages and girls work in the kitchen, set in the 80’s. We later discovered that this school actually exists and still exists today, different, but still. Many of the characters were “based” on real characters of the time when the author went there. But it was terribly weird, the book. He read a part where it was described how a bird slowly killed a fish – in very much detail.

However, after that I passed a guy talking about green and the fact he didn’t like green. What WAS that green doing in his kitchen. It wasn’t his fault he didn’t like green. Then again, maybe the green didn’t like being green either. Maybe it would have prefered to be blue or yellow.

That was more like it – far better than a dying fish, sorry.

By the way, here’s the link to the website of the book fair in english: http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/

A further aspect was the discussion: paper of E-book. I have to say that I love books, simply because they are so classy and well, you have something to grab. On the other hand I do see that it might be better for the environment to go digital, though it does take a lot of soul out of reading, for me. I guess when it’s about technology I’m slightly conservative. I don’t see the point in blue-ray either. I see the point in changing from video to dvd, because it’s a step from analog to digital, allowing people select chapters and everything. But blue-ray is digital, but smaller. So?

Anyway, the book fair also made my mother realize just how many books there are trying to get onto the bestseller-lists. But thanks to my list for writing (from a previous post), I wasn’t all that scared really.

We’ll see how it will be next year.

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