The weather started out drizzling and cold but got its act together on Saturday and Sunday, resulting in some very red people dotted round the place... Stuart MacBride included. Let it be a lesson to you all that sunscreen works best on your skin, not in the tube at the bottom of your suitcase!
The photo is of me, stomping across the lawn at The Old Swan. Thank you to Vincent Holland-Keen for taking it, with no warning or chance to pose nicely. As you can see the weather was gorgeous.
I had a great time catching up with old friends and making new ones, going for beautiful food (Sukothai stood out for me this year) and generally relaxing with a beer or two... or three... or four after remortgaging the house to afford the hotel bar prices!
I didn't go to many panels this year, just 3; one discussing women writing crime fiction, another looking at crime mixed with other genres and the last featuring investigative journalists and intelligence experts who have risked all to write about their experiences. All very interesting and enjoyable as ever. If you haven't been before, do book in for next year; it's a great event!
I actually missed the big talking point of this year; a certain eBook panel. While everyone was inside booing, gasping and grilling the panellists, I was elsewhere. I think I was actually getting my hair done... Oh how girly... and shopping. Geez this just gets better, there goes my street cred!
So asides from talking about new authors discovered, (for me this year it was Ben Aaronovitch) and the latest offerings from the established greats of the genre, people were also talking about eBooks and whether or not they meant the end of the paperback. (There was a lot of other talk about such things as sock puppets, but I won't go into that...)
Judging by the armfuls of books I saw people buying and the drop in the levels of stock at the Harrogate book shop, I think the paperback is pretty safe for now. After all, the book I'm currently reading got covered in a litre of orange squash and is now stained yellow and the pages are wavy, but it's still perfectly readable. How many eReaders would survive a soaking and not malfunction?
Until they invent readers you can drop in the bath I think the humble paperback is safe and as readers are so passionate about books, who's to say that there isn't room for both formats in this town? ;)