On Sunday, the whirlwind that is Frankfurt Book Fair came to an end after five busy days of books, books and more books. Interestingly, it has been awhile since there was an at least partly Anglophone country as guest of honor - India in 2006 with the Motto "Today's India" and New Zealand in 2012 with the Motto "While You Were Sleeping". This year, Flanders and the Netherlands were guests of honor, and in 2017 it will be France - a repeat from 1989.
One of the interesting points that Ann Steiner made at the conference during her talk was that there is much more in the book industry than meets the eye, and this is true of Frankfurt Book Fair, too. 278,000 people came to the fair this year, and on the weekend, the fair is open to the public. Tens of thousands of Readers and booklovers visit the halls with the booths of the big trade publishers, hoping to see their favorite author or just browse the shelves (or they are hoping to happen upon Bruce Springsteen, since he published his autobiography this year and is on book tour). In short: People come for the novels, for the fiction. They come for the celebrities.
The halls filled with the booths belonging to printers, distributors, etc. (e.g. in hall 4.0) are largely ignored by the masses. So are the halls with the textbook publishers, for instance... These are the areas of publishing and the book industry that are often forgotten by the public, but also by us as researchers.
- CNR, 26 October, 2016