I'm just back from a sales conference in New York, and found the city very up and full of energy. Not all of it good - for a country which claims to have a policy on energy reduction, you find a cinema on 42nd Street by Times Square where, to get to the auditorium (Number 20!) you go up five escalators. Each one passes by a floor of pumping rock music and a different fast food restaurant - all full on a Sunday afternoon - and all built in the expectation of many customers. The carbon footprint of that building alone would be the equal to half a high street in the UK. It's all so calm here, in comparison - OK , we are maybe a bit bland, but we have the same films (Forgetting Sarah Marshall - a good way to recover from the tension of presenting), and much of the same culture.
Bookshops - Barnes & Noble had more magazines and CD's and very little fiction backlist - they used to have rows and rows. The independents are flourishing, but the chains are cutting back on their stores. Amazon is the fastest growing customer of our distributors.
Our books - they loved Victoria & Lucinda's Flavour of the Month - our yummy mummy cookbook, with game, table design and entertaining. Thank goodness we did the conversions! Also very keen on Horribly Awkward, and I watched a little of the American version of The Office on the plane home - full of Dwight's and introversion. The American version of introversion just happens to be, well, loud....