Saturday, May 12, 2007

At the end of the week of the PM's stepping down, I'm making a slightly less historic step in opening up this blog to James Smith, website editor, and between us we'll be encouraging others at Booktrust to contribute their news, views and musings. I'm Director till September, but this curious handover phase is a good time to present different voices of Booktrust. And talking of handovers, I was glad to see that Gordon Brown's first interview took place with a shelf of books in the background.
Next week I'm going to Antwerp with Huw Molseed, web expert at Booktrust, to a meeting of EU*READ to talk to them about their hopes and fears for the future of the book in the digital age. I'm interested to discover whether the topic is generating such heat across Europe and what we can do together to explore the creative potential for readers and writers.
Meanwhile I've been reading Steven Hall's 'The Raw Shark Texts' - Moby Dick meets Roget's Thesaurus - and some fantastic graphic novels lately, all of which make best possible use of the black and white printed page, and challenge the notion that Real Readers don't mess with pictures. Marjane Satrapi's 'Persepolis' is an account of growing up female in Iran which has a wit and lightness of touch which makes the horrors hit home too.