I may have wobbled like this before. The going of the bookshop is a slow motion demolition really. It just seems wrong at the moment but maybe in a few years time it will make more sense. See yesterday for the dates. the new Exeter University Forum opens May 4th with a desk to support the Blackwells website. The current temp space ends before May 20th. The modernist design of the new Forum has no space for a bookshop.
The news from the London Bookfair seems to confirm a digital trend. I listened to Click last night and it was a bookish World Service audience who happened to each have some device for reading e-books. However there was not much on academic books or journals. Maybe this reflects the balance of the event. Somehow journals have moved into digital without much change in the format or business model. I t would still appear that a journal publication happens on a specific date with a closely defined text.
What will happen with text books? I don't think many of them are available as ebooks. There is a lot to shift if this is a tipping point sort of time.
Just checked my email from the Bookseller. Amazon now has US rights to the James Bond backlist. This is the sort of thing the London Book Fair is meant for.
I still think some Exeter students will find a hard copy bookshop, either near the High Street or on another campus. The Blackwells website has a virtual model of the shop in Oxford and a stock of Sony devices. Tottenham Court Road can be reached within four hours or so.
I think I may be influenced by my recent move to radio. I started as a guest on Phonic FM and now I am presenting the Wild Show on Thursday 10-12 till Chris Norton recovers from a broken foot. He may return soon or at least arrive before the end of the show. I have been told to be a bit less opinionated. Apparently the default mode for radio is to know nothing and have no opinion. The research is to narrow down what you don't know about and be aware of the possible opinions if they should appear. So if the blog seems more muddled and less based in fact this is just a way of developing for radio.
Given the even slower pace of the UK book trade I think the opening of the Exeter University Forum will have to do as a date for an event in digital book publishing. How it makes sense will be explored later.