Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dead Men's (Volcanic) Dust

For over five days now, there has been a no fly zone over the UK due to ash from the Icelandic volcano eruption, with travel chaos ensuing as people stranded in far ports have tried to return home - or in fact to leave the UK. One of the overriding images I've noticed is deserted airports - often with a shot of a WHSmith travel shop in the background. It has got me thinking: has the no fly rule affected book sales or has it in fact helped? I can only wait and see.

I don't suppose that the bookshops in the airports (the ones that are empty) have done much trade, but what about the ones where people have been forced to spend many hours - have the people there been buying more books in order to kill some of the waiting time? Ferry terminals and train stations have been inundated, so have sales gone up there as well. Do people actually read when they're stranded in a strange place or do they just go into shut down as they watch the next 'CANCELLED' sign flicker up on the notice boards?

Me, I don't know. But it would be interesting to find out.

7 comments:

David Barber said...

I've got to admit, Matt, that I need to have something to read with me at all times where I'm going to be waiting for any length of time, even sat in the doctors surgery, the dentist, picking the kids up etc. One of my favourite things when going on holiday was always buying a few new books. So, I would say, yes, they probably have gone up as reading is certainly something that most people do.

Col Bury said...

Hard to tell but, like Dave, I know what I'd be doing so probably yes.

Glaznost said...

I'm with the terrible twins Dave and Col...

Alan said...

I'm like David; I have a book with me wherever I go. I mean, who wants to read scabby old magazines in the doctor's surgery?!

Sue H said...

I do most of my travelling by car, which isn't conducive to reading.

So, if I get the chance to travel by any other means, I make sure I have plenty of reading material!

Part of packing for holiday is always "which (of the many) books shall I take."

And I always pack extras - just in case.....

Sue H said...

...and, forgot to say, Mr H was caught up in all that volcano nonsense! Just as well he had DMD AND J&W in his baggage - the cancelled half-hour flight turned into a three-hour ferry. Winner for you, then, Matt!

Matt Hilton said...

Thanks all,
it was just one of those random thoughts that occaisionally strike. I know that the volcanic ash shenanigans have definitely affected the London Book Fair attendance, so dunno how that will affect the publishing industry in the next few months. Less deals done?

Sue, I hope your Mr H had a safe and enjoyable trip after all, and that the books helped pass the time a bit quicker for him.