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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Monday, October 15, 2007 2:22 pm
Maybe That’s Why the Name Is Synonymous with Sausage
Posted by: Keir Graff

Book lovers may well imagine that the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest literary marketplace, is a kind of nirvana–commercial, sure, but nonetheless a jaw-dropping testament to the continuing relevance of books and writers.

Those book lovers have not yet read Carole Cadwalladr’s lively, sobering report on this year’s fair (“‘It’s carnage…’ Inside the genteel world of books,’Observer):

But then there’s nothing like going to Frankfurt to make you think that publishing is only very peripherally about writers, anyway. They’re simply the manufacturers of the ‘product’, and wandering around Frankfurt’s eight vast ‘halls’ – spaces which would comfortably accommodate a fleet of 747s and have enough room left over for a couple of municipal libraries in the corner – is a salutary lesson in just how many other manufacturers of product there are, and just how much product.

And if that doesn’t tell you what you’re in for, here’s another sample: 

Oh, the writers. What becomes abundantly clear from Frankfurt is that if you’ve got a book inside, it’s really not a bad idea to keep it there. Why does anybody even want to be a writer? And I say that as one.

And another:

‘No writer should ever go to Frankfurt. It’s soul-destroying. You see writers being traded like pork bellies.’

And another:

‘You look around and you think the world needs another book like it needs a hole in the head.’

One Response to “Maybe That’s Why the Name Is Synonymous with Sausage”
  1. Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Steal These Books! Says:

    [...] At the recently concluded Frankfurt Book Fair, the books were flying off the shelves–and those taking the books weren’t always paying for them. And the publishers didn’t always mind, either. Why? Because the books that get stolen the most at Frankfurt often end up selling the best in bookstores (”Great News: They’re Stealing Our Books!” by Christel Kucharz, ABC News): “We don’t know how many books were stolen altogether,” a marketing expert for German publisher Luebbe told ABC News. “But it is fair to say that thousands of books are stolen every year. And, of course, people only steal interesting books, so those books most stolen are likely to be the ones ending up on the best-seller lists.” [...]


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