How to be cool in Frankfurt

“So what are you reading right now?”

Everyone at the Frankfurt Book Fair will ask you this question, and you better have a cool answer, especially if you want to be invited to the Hessischer Hof or the Frankfurter Hof for drinks with the cool kids sometime around 2 a.m. People spend hours agonizing over the coolness of their current reading selection and which titles to bring to the fair. I am not talking about work-related titles that you are trying to sell. To make an impression during those informal and inebriated conversations that inevitably lead to book deals later on, you have to have a couple of impressive and slightly obscure books on your proverbial nightstand. With parties lasting until 2 or 3 a.m. and appointments starting a few short hours later, let’s all be honest and admit that no reading actually happens during the fair. Nevertheless, you have to bring cool books to “read” and discuss with cool people.

Below are my further recommendations on how to be cool in Frankfurt.

Hannah’s Top Ten Cool Rules for Frankfurt:
1) Bring two or three impressive books to “read”
2) Go to the parties no matter how tired you are
3) Wear hip Euro business attire (bonus points for cool glasses)
4) Make friends with a Frankfurt Book Fair employee because they all have the inside scoop
5) Join the digital age and download the map and catalogs to your mobile device
6) Carry a Frankfurt Book Fair bag because it makes you look like a pro
7) Don’t be that poor person carrying a huge bag and wearing uncomfortable shoes
8) Save sleeping and reading for when you get home
9) Take cell phone pictures and post them to your blog
10) Talk to enough people and go to enough parties to make it into a cell phone picture on someone else’s blog


Author: Hannah Johnson

When I first came to New York City, I almost ran over Liza Minelli with my suitcase. Then I got a job in book publishing.

One thought on “How to be cool in Frankfurt”

  1. Hey, have a nice time at Frankfurt. It’s fun. I was this year on the “Leipziger Buchmesse”. It’s big and you can really meet a lot of people. 😉

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