|Comedian Ben Miller asks: 'Is there life beyond earth?'|
Friends often say to me, "Gosh isn't your festival coming up soon?" (Such is my passion for books and literary stuff.) But as I sat this week through sessions on reading navigational signs in nature, Henry VIII's toilet habits and scientific chat about aliens out in space, I realised that this festival goes beyond the book-lover's domain. There is something for everyone and quite honestly you don't have to go near a book if you don't want to. Just sit, listen and soak it all up...
For me, it's also an opportunity to address questions to the authors involved - either creators of fiction or experts in their field. How often do you get to ask a bestselling author about her craft? Or find out why someone wanted to run a 1940s marriage bureau? Or enquire about the properties of green sea-water? It's like being invited to a fascinating dinner party.
In an age where we are constantly time-pressed, where we are bombarded with tweets and YouTube clips, it is such a pleasure to sit for an hour and listen to someone talking about their life's work. For one week, through the prism of publishing, Henley opens a window on the world. The view is fabulous - go take a look!