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The Guardian view on the London book fair: let it be full and fun | Editorial

As publishing looks to cash in on the BookTok revolution, it would do well to remember an earlier innovator, Peter Usborne

For three days this week, the world of books will descend on Kensington’s Olympia exhibition centre for the London book fair, one of the biggest set pieces of the international publishing year. After being cancelled in 2020, forced online in 2021 and losing a hefty proportion of its delegates last year to lingering Covid anxiety, it is hoped to be a return to form.

To those on the outside, the annual gathering might resemble an update of a Lowry painting of besuited figures hurrying towards a football stadium, only with fewer hats and bigger bags. Inside, however, it is more like a cerebral version of London fashion week, with cubicles instead of catwalks, where the business brains of the books world vie to identify, sell and take ownership of next season’s fashions.

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