The Frankfurt Book Fair opens its doors this coming Tuesday.
I'm not going. Why not? Why won't I be rubbing shoulders with the publishing world, hobnobbing with the rich and famous and discussing Le Clézio over cocktails and canapés? Mainly personal, childcare-related reasons, actually. But also because, despite the wonderful events in the Translators' Centre, it's not actually geared to readers.
I have to admit I've only been once, and was thoroughly intimidated by the huge fortresses built up by the major UK/US publishers in their hall, specially designed to keep the professionals in and the riffraff out. The German publishers were slightly more approachable, as the fair is also a chance for them to present their products to booksellers and to a certain extent the general public. But for sheer accessibility of reading material, writers and events, there's just no topping the Leipzig Book Fair.
Plus I was put off by this posting, which revealed just how severely challenged I am in the bookfair footwear department.