So Bookfest lovers, where are we? . . .
Successful press launch? . . . tick. Successful first day of sales? . . . tick. Huge new programme full of amazing events? . . . tick. Gorgeous hot summer weather? . . . tick (fingers crossed the weather’s this good during the festival itself!) So now we just have to wait until August . . . bring it on!
It was a busy and exciting weekend. On Saturday morning we all arrived into work bright and early. Now we were feeling a tiny little bit sorry for ourselves at having had to get up so early for work on a Saturday morning, but then we found out that some people had started queuing for tickets at 4.00 am (!), so the feeling disappeared very quickly.
Having said that, things weren’t too bad for those Bookfest aficionados: once inside the EICC itself, there were plenty of chairs, a snack bar, screens to tell you which events were selling out, and even toys and drawing stuff for younger children to help stem boredom levels.
Lots of customers had the best idea, though, and brought their novels in with them to read so they could have a leisurely (dare I say pleasurable?) wait; you could almost say it was like an extension of their usual Saturday morning rest on the conservatory armchair with the weekend Newspapers or their book. Plus there were friendly people to chat to and a ‘booky’ kind of buzz in the air. Later on people were able to watch Wimbledon which was ace (seriously, a pun wasn’t intended there).
One of the festival team – Children & Education Programme Director – Sara Grady asked some of the customers, while they were waiting, about the books they were reading at the moment. To listen click on the link below:
Back at Bookfest HQ in Charlotte Square, things were running just as smoothly. Staff members were getting excited about which events were selling out first and a general book recommendation chat which began some weeks ago between Bookfest staff about the books which are to feature in the festival, has gathered passion and momentum.
We’re slowly working our way through the range of new books on the office shelves which have all been hot off the press and we’re all passing on tips and book reviews and teasers to each other. The one that got the biggest reaction this weekend was Karl Marlantes’s astonishing novel Matterhorn – read by one of the press team on the train to London. Apparently this book, set during the Vietnam War and which took Vietnam War survivor Marlantes thirty years to write, is utterly incredible. The problem is that this revelation led to a scramble and we’re all fighting over the office copies now. There are still tickets available for his event, by the way, on 14 August at 20:00 so be quick to book your seat and get your hands on one of this year’s most sensational and highly praised American text.
We will keep you posted on other key recommendations over the coming weeks.