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Monika Kempf, Literary agent

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Picture: © Alexandra Kolb

Videoscript Monika Kempf

When I think of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, I think of my very first visit as a publishing trainee. I think of the 80-centimetre-wide hotel bed in which I didn't sleep a wink for sheer excitement, probably also for fear of falling out.

I think of so many meetings with intelligent, charismatic, impressive people. Of full schedules. Of: no time to eat, but still having two muesli bars in the bag. 

I think of looking at the clock because you just met someone and now you're five minutes late again.

I think of long, wild party nights, of tense shoulders at the end of the day because I'm carrying three or four books home again.

I think of that incredible exhaustion in the train on the way home, every time.  

I think of colourful manga people. I think of long queues at the currywurst stand, but especially in front of the signing tables.

I think of wide eyes in front of metre-high walls of books, of glowing publishers' stands, of so much love for books.

I think of so many: „Great to finally meet you“, and then even more: „Nice to finally see you again.“  

When I think of Frankfurter Buchmesse, I feel the core of my work as a literary agent and know why I do it all. When I think of the book fair, I hear the heart of the whole industry beating. And now I have goose bumps.