A funny thing happened to me at the Bologna Book Fair

Posted by Justine Solomons on 26 March 2012, in News

A funny thing happened to me at the Bologna Book Fair

I was sitting outside having a meeting with a Mexican publisher when we noticed a man wearing a patchwork pastel shirt, we complimented him on his shirt saying how much it reminded us of Elmer illustrations and then got chatting to him.

He said he used to run a very successful mail order book club which he'd since sold but he still dabbled in that area. So I gave him my card and said I thought that Yudu's solutions might be able to help him. He seemed a little taken aback, commenting on the Whitehall Court address.

He asked me why I was in publishing and about the ethos of our company. I told him how much I loved books and how important digital was to publishing. Just as Guttenberg's Press had released monks from handwriting manuscripts, and Allen Lane had with the introduction of paperbacks made books affordable to the common man, so digital had the potential to provide further access to books, and, in my opinion anything that got more people reading was a good thing.

'Why did you mention Allen Lane?' He asked.

I reiterated how the founder of the press that became Penguin had allowed more people access to books through the 6d paperback and as such revolutionised the publishing industry.

'Allen Lane was my father-in-law,' he said. 'He died 42 years ago but I still miss him very much. His London flat was in Whitehall Court.'

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