Something for Everyone at Book Fair

Cape Times (South Africa), June 14, 2007 | Go to article overview

Something for Everyone at Book Fair


Vanessa BADROODIEN is the director of the Cape Town Book Fair, taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from Saturday to Tuesday. For details of the full programme, see www.capetownbookfair.co.za Entrance is R30, but students and children get in for free.

How has the fair improved from last year?

It's a very different fair. Last year there were very few authors on the floor itself, and there are many more this year.

Our aisles have been widened by a metre which makes for better foot traffic.

We have security on the floor to ensure that we don't run into congestion problems at stands where there is a lot of activity.

Even if there is a popular author at a stand, you still need to ensure that people can move in the venue.

There are more information kiosks and all staff, including casual staff and ushers have been given better briefings, so they have a better sense of what they're doing and what they're supposed to do.

This year we've started a very simplified queuing system which lets us know whether or not a venue is full, so visitors don't have to queue and not get in.

What can visitors expect at the fair?

Visitors probably have about 10 to 12 choices of book talks, book signings and panel discussions at any given hour in the day.

The authors range from the very popular, such as Marian Keyes, to authors who are very niche and appeal to a smaller audience.

We've got authors who range from political through to very literary, so I think that there should be something for everyone there.

Will visitors be able to buy books?

Yes they will. Apart from all of the retailers there, there are also sales on a large number of stands. Obviously the book fair isn't a giant sale, but there are books available to purchase.

There are also books that people may not have seen during the rest of the year, or in the bookshops they would traditionally go to.

What is the significance of this year's theme - More than Black on White?

To show that books are ultimately more than simply black text on white paper. Books are about everything that you can possibly make it. Books come alive; they're not as simple as black and white.

What is the highlight of this year's fair for you? …

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