Just a quick word to you as I’m in a training session this week at work. I’m really looking forward to the weekend!
Last Sunday we went to the Salon du Livre, the Paris book fair, a national yearly event with about 2000 writers coming for signature sessions, hundreds of publishing houses, both national, regional or foreign, lots of conferences, public readings, music etc. It was the first time we ever went to this kind of large literary event, and I was slightly apprehensive of the crowd… But all went well, and Baby Smithereens in his stroller was exceptionally patient and calm.
There were so many things to see, we prefered to visit the lesser-known publishing houses from different countries and French regions before we got to the large and famous ones with a lot more people in the booths. I was impressed by the number of regional publishing houses – and slightly encouraged because it opened new perspectives of submission for me (that is, if I had a complete and nice text in French to present them with).
At the same time and in contradiction to this, after a while I felt swamped by the sheer number of books everywhere in the large convention hall. I can’t start to imagine the total number of them, maybe over a billion?? Each booth had a table full with new releases and one or two shelves, so I don’t know if anyone can do the math, considering the huge number of booths. This was slightly depressing to my fragile writing ego: isn’t it a sign that there are too many books out there, that every story in the world has already been written?
We didn’t attend reading sessions or conferences, nor did we really get interested in the Mexico presentation, which was the invited country for 2009. But we had plenty of fun, and I got a chance to visit a few favorite publishing houses booths, like Actes Sud, Sabine Wespieser, Picquier etc. And can you believe it, we just bought ONE book? Guess what, we bought Nuala O’Faolain last novel, “Best Love Rosie”!