More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 68

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

SEVERAL times I travelled to the Frankfurt Book Fair with the well-known publisher, Charles Skilton.

We both shared an undiluted enthusiasm for the excitement of the annual event.

I actually never missed a Frankfurt Book Fair from 1971 to 2006.

For Charles, this was the highlight of the publishing year, the world’s great gathering of books and book people. He often recalled that he had attended the very first Book Fair after the war, held in 1948 with a distinctly sparse post-war selection of books arrayed on trestle tables.

As the Fair developed in the ’50s and ’60s, into the world’s largest gathering of book people, it became a fixed point of focus in the international publishing year.

I dabbled in publishing, but I would also attend to sell my own ideas for books I might write or promote. This was frequently successful.

The Little Scots Cookbook might not have been the most stunning financial deal but others were rather more so.