The Frankfurt Book Fair, Vicariously

If you’ve wondered what it’s like to be in the midst of the world’s largest book fair (featuring over 7,000 exhibitors in multiple buildings), the New Yorker gives a good impression of it:

The Frankfurt Book Fair, which took place in Germany last week, feels like an airport (gift shops, people movers, high ceilings, ample bathrooms, the anxiety of missing something), except you can’t go anywhere.

And, in a description that could be applied to an ALA show floor, “Little separates the book fair from a tech fair,” but with a different twist:

The juxtaposition of game giants with paper products seemed an accurate—if slightly disorienting—reflection of today’s publishing landscape. The book publishers are doing digital products and the video-game makers are doing books.

Tellingly, the story focuses on the technology and not the books.

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