Many thanks to Micketymoc for alerting me to the forthcoming 27th Manila International Bookfair. Although I am already savouring wandering the aisles, I can’t help feeling for the people attending the booths. I’ve manned a few book festival booths in my time and a more utterly tedious job it is hard to imagine. I remember one Singapore Book Fair in particular. I was working for a law publisher and we were only there to fly the flag for our astonishingly expensive and dull books. In the next booth was a children’s encyclopaedia publisher—the perfect product to be selling to ambitious Singaporean parents obsessed with child development. Their cash registers just didn’t stop ringing for three days, while we looked at each other and debated whether we would sell a single book that day. There will be booths like ours down at the World Trade Center—give ‘em a sympathetic smile if you pass by.