Thursday, November 02, 2006

THE BATTLE OF IDEAS at the Royal College of Art on 28th October had a fantastic spirit. I went to debates on Happiness and Money. The 'future of the book in the era of txting' debate which I was speaking at was not so contraversial, but John Sutherland stood up for bookshops and paper against wicked American search engines, while I asserted that the book of the future will remain the book, even if it's digitised and downloadable. Someone said Star Trek presented a bookless future - but maybe Captain Kirk has an iBookreader under his bunk containing an infinite library of great literature. "Transport me to Narnia, Scotty." "Aye Aye, Cap'n."

Another good quote: "Technology is anything invented since you were born." And Alyson Rudd said she has two children and loves them both; it's possible to love books and computer screens too.
My fellow debaters were Michael Caines, editor at TLS; Shirley Dent of Institute of Ideas; John Sutherland; Alyson Rudd,Times Books Group; Jack Klaff. Read what we all said at the Battle of Ideas website.

Oh and finally 2 pictures of The Bettertones, featuring Eamonn Flynn, Booktrust's own Head of Finance, on mandolin. We were playing at the launch of The Very Best Of Linda Smith, a much missed friend.

The star studded cast included Arthur Smith, Sandi Toksvig, Phil Jupitus, Andy Hamilton, Jo Brand... and, most impressively, all the newsreaders off Radio 4.

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