Hay Festival founder Peter Florence insisted that it was “what’s in the book” that was important, not the format

Speaking at the festival to The Bookseller’s sister publication We Love This Book, Florence also predicted the digital revolution would make publishers more relevant as a filter mechanism to help consumers choose the best works to read. “Publishers will become more valuable in a digital world because where there are no limits to who can publish, the idea of tastemakers—people whose imprimatur as publishers and supporters of a particular library of writers who can guarantee quality—will be absolutely vital,” he said.

Florence also used the interview, in the 25th year of the event he founded with his father Norman Florence, to dismiss literary journalism as a craft of the past. “All sort of other arbiters will also come into play. The people that nobody trusts is the journalists. Literary journalism is so devalued that it's been replaced by—and I think this is rather a good thing —it's been replaced by people who love books and who want to share books that they love. Nobody wants to read about somebody bitching about somebody they’re not as talented as,” he said.

The full interview with Peter Florence including other features and analysis from Hay can be viewed at www.welovethisbook.com.