Saturday, October 01, 2011

So Many Books!

  After five days of lugging books around and a week of entertaining two rampaging granddaughters, progress has resumed on updating the formatting and graphics in the script sample section of Medieval Writing. I am now into Gothic textura book hands. Wheeeeee!
  The book fair I was helping at is a truly amazing thing. It started many years ago in a modest way, and has grown continually, so now they can run two main fairs a year, and supply a number of smaller ones in other places, in an absolutely enormous building with over 200,000 books laid out on rows of tables. All books have been donated by the Canberra community. It is, I believe, the biggest book fair in Australia.
   The organisers of the fair are themselves somewhat perplexed by the continuing growth of the event, and are wondering just what will happen in the future. More books are being donated, and at the same time more books are being bought, but can it continue? Possibly some of the growth in donations can be attributed to the demographics of Canberra, a city that has been populated by young professional people who are now becoming older retired professional people. Many are probably at a downsizing stage, not to mention a departing stage.
   The buying public is still turning up to recycle the books, however, so reports of the demise of the printed book are currently a little premature. There are some interesting things to note. Fiction turns over at a great rate. I think more people actually buy books, then recycle them, rather than borrowing from libraries. Classic literary fiction does not sell all that well. Perhaps the free downloads of out of copyright material, or purchases for a few cents from Amazon of such works in Kindle format, are the making the first inroads in the e-book department. Then again, perhaps everybody is sick to death of Jane Austen. Personal prejudice there.
   I will be interested to see how the whole thing progresses over the next few years, I should get a close view, as I have been persuaded to continue helping by sorting and pricing dictionaries and thesauruses and the like. Now those are books where you still need to riffle the pages.


H. Doug Matsuoka said...

You donʻt have to publish this because itʻs not really a comment on your post. I did go to the Gothic Textura scripts though, and notice that one is describe as being in English but it looks like Latin to me. Of course, I donʻt know Latin but...

The page in question:

Love your work and I always look forward to new posts.


Dianne said...

Ah Doug, trapped by linguistic confusion!It is Latin, but it is from England, ie. written by the hand of an Englishman, in Latin. I will fix that little anomaly.

Nicole said...

Hi Dianne

Where and when is this book fair on? Is it the Lifeline book fair?


Dianne said...

It is indeed the Lifeline Bookfair, in Canberra, ACT, Australia at Exhibition Park. The next fair is 16 -18th March 2012 and the one after that on 21 - 23rd September 2012, if you happen to be on the right side of the globe at that time.