Facing the Gap: What are you doing here?

A hand shakes me. I open my eyes wearily. It is our lovely flight attendant of the gigantic Lufthansa plane.

“We are preparing to land sir,” she says, “please return the back of your seat to the upright position, and fasten your seatbelt.”

I try to move clumsily.

“Sir, would you like a drink before we land?” While drinking my water, I close my eyes and listen to the report given by the pilot, about the weather in Frankfurt – most of the times well in October – and how he wishes that we had a nice flight and hopes to see us soon on board again. A wish that will be granted soon, since after five fays, I will be flying back on the same flight, this time our destination would be Tehran, my homeland.

The Frankfurt Book Fair has always been a celebration of the year for me. I have some business there, but my main motivation to visit the book fair every year has never been the business itself, but my intensive crave to be there. In an atmosphere where everybody thinks about books, lives the books, breaths the books, sleeps them; thinks about something no longer considered to be a practical necessity in our modern world and the age of information. It is only five days, but so fulfilling, so inspiring, and the most intense part for me is seeing my friends, editors and publishers from all over the world, with the sad, or perhaps not sad, but somehow strange feeling, that although we are friends, although we all live by books, there is a deep gap between their world and mine, having concerns that no one believes, facing quite a different ordeal as a publisher and editor.