The last 10 days or so have been quite busy.
The programme is now on line and Friends of JBW can already see it and book their tickets. This year for the first time, we are giving them the opportunity to just call us in the office to book their tickets and it seems to work. It’s actually quite lovely for us too to hear people’s enthusiasm.
Most of the pre-festival events can now be booked (apart from the kids’ day). I’m really looking forward to all of them: Michael Rosen playing with words, Peter Cole and Adina Hoffman on translating, poetry and lost treasures, fabulous stories from the likes of Jay Rayner and Harry Shearer at 5×15 and Izzeldin Abuelaish on his commitment not to hate in spite of the absurd death of three of his daughters in the last days of Operation Cast Lead. The best about these events is that I’ll be able to simply enjoy them in a way I can never do at JBW when I’m perpetually worrying about all the things that can go wrong in a live event.
After several readings by our eagle-eyed proof readers, the programme has gone to print. This is the best time of year! It’s all happening as in our best dreams and the programme we’ve imagined, put together and hoped for is all there on the page. We can only hope against all hopes that all our 103 speakers will be with us as planned during the 9 days of JBW.
So now I can finally think of going on holiday and pack all the books I want to read. No digital reader for me, I love the touch of paper too much. I’m taking a few books by JBW speakers I haven’t yet read (Bruckner’s Perpetual Euphoria, Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks, a Zweig novel) and a non-JBW book too (Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists).
Wishing you all the very best for 2011! I look forward to seeing you next year.