19 April 08 | Chad W. Post

I just found this roundup from a delegation of American Booksellers who attended the London Book Fair.

Not that extensive of a post, but there are a few interesting observations. First about the fair itself:

The London Book Fair is an interesting counterpart to America’s Book Expo America. In the most critical view, booksellers are little more than an afterthought at LBF. A historical legacy of the LBF’s origins and current industry dynamics, publisher deal-making is the focus as the majority of attendees are present to negotiate publishing & distribution rights.

And then about Foyles, one of the greatest bookstores in the world.

Foyles is in the heart of central London not far from Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square on Charring Cross Road. I’m so envious of their art-gallery-cum-author-event-space and deep selection of art & photography books. We attended an Arab Authors night co-hosted with “Words Without Borders” which was standing room only. Along the wall behind the authors was an art exhibition of photographs from the book “London Street Art” by Prestel press. You can see the signs that the store has had to respond to competition from the chain stores (including one right across the street), and as a result offers selective discounts at the main entrance but Foyles has also really tried to cultivate departments which cater to niche interest groups including oddly enough a specialty department for Doctors & Veterinarians where you can buy lab coats, scrubs, stethoscopes, doctors bags, along with medical school exam guides, related books and even a full skeleton if you require.


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