"The truth is that wherever you go, people want ideas, want language, want discussion, want space to share and to talk. The Web is great but there is nothing better than people in a room together. I used to be a bit dubious about all these literary festivals happening all the time, but this last visit to Sydney has convinced me of how important, and necessary they are. There is a collective hunger for real things – a kind of self-administered antidote to consumerism and spin. Yes, people spend money, buy books, but it is not about redundant marketing or pointless shopping; it is about really choosing instead of being fed the lie of choice."