At the moment I have so many balls in the air, but I won’t write about any of them. Instead I will have to let you in on a secret: I am terribly superstitious when it comes to ideas and unfinished projects. I can’t talk about them! As soon as I start talking about ideas publicly, they fall to pieces or things just don’t happen. I can count on that!

One thing I can talk about now though… My book is going to be displayed at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This book fair is the biggest of its kind. It is a trade show for publishers and booksellers. There will be seven and a half thousand exhibitors from one hundred and six countries. Each of them bringing their new titles along, and among them my tiny little book, which travels in the bag of another New Zealand publisher. New Zealand is the guest of honour this year. This is a big plus. It means a lot to me, I am still a traditional publisher at heart! I remember when I was at the book fair years ago, I was always totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of titles on display. It is like the internet made visual!

Because I don’t want to talk about the finer details or my other projects, I thought I will play visual “Chinese Whispers” on my blog for a while. I will put up images that are somehow related to the previous one, but totally different at the same time. And then I will tell a little story around the image. I am curious how it will go.

Today’s image is an old letter press machine  in motion. My link to yesterday’s image is the blur: yesterday it was a  person, today it is a machine. The printer down the road has one of them (actually the one shown in the picture) and he runs weekend workshops. He asked me the other day if I can be his helper sometimes. I am very happy to do that. I still find it amazing that until the late 1970’s type was put together piece by piece to print books and newspapers. Not much had changed since Gutenberg invented the moveable letters in 1439. Imagine how people must have felt in those times, when all of a sudden a book didn’t need to be copied manually word by word, but could be put together first and then replicated as many times as needed in what must have felt in those times like lightening speed. It must have felt to them like the Internet to us now?

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