My first Book Fair, My first Book in Sweden. My first recitation in public, but
not my first time on a stage. I have years of real experience and performing in public .

Many questions are dancing in my mind, roaring like an angry sea, and asking me why?
Why this behaviour from a public which should represent the Swedish élite or professionals
in literature.
Was it only me who noticed the total nonchalance, the ignorance from people around us,
when we should make an introduction of our books and also read or recite.
Some who perhaps for years had worked with their books to get it ready and published.

Another author noticed some well-known face and a person in the public and thought:
Will he stop and listen to me…
but he didn’t.
So how are we going to act when the air and the whole space around is a waving
of a murmuring sound, like a growing storm filling our ears and our minds.

First I wonder: Why did they come ? The great mass of people pushing each other
in the different lines of stands. Bags full of advertising materials from different publisher.

I was brought up with discipline and respect and I’m still believing that those virtues have a meaning.
Is it too much to ask for, that also the people who visit the fair, could in ten minutes be calm,
stand still for a moment and show that respect We, The Authors are worthy of, at least when they are close to a speaker and a visible microphone.

The Fair organisation could surely make a better job.
I have experiences from fairs both in Scandinavia and from many big fairs abroad,
such as Paris, Frankfurt and Milan.

It has always been possible to hire a special space within the fair for showing news and
invite some people to this space.
I am sure it should be possible also here to arrange a certain space like the scene or stage of
the Swedish Author’s Association.
Many are the reading and talking authors, but 10 minutes for each will be quite many performances during 4 days.
Why not divide the author’s work within a genre. Find a space where all authors of detective stories could have their own performances. Children books in another space. All about food,
Cooking books in one space. Stories about travels and other genres could have been given
a better chance to perform their message.

I am sure we all have a message in our writings. That’s why we write.

I am aware of the fact that the problem is not easy to solve and the publishers want also
to get some attention. That does not exclude the information from the authors, who easily
can tell the publishers name and where to find their books. For all so important to know.
I hope somebody will read my letter, my thoughts, even though I am a small not important person, in this so big world of heaps of books, and specialists in the field of literature.

Until next year I will hold my tongue in this matter.


©kerstin centervall

Photos Kerstin centervall