Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

April 26th, 2010

Banner at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival

What Are You Reading Right Now?

As an avid reader and lover of books, I’m embarrassed to admit that until this past weekend I have never attended a book festival before.   Now I’ve been to plenty of bookstores and libraries in my time and I’ve spent many hours on the Amazon book site but  never to a book festival.  So this past weekend, along with my friend Maddy, who has attended numerous book fairs by the way, I attended my very first one ever. On Saturday, she and I hopped on the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and headed on up to UCLA  for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

I’m always on the look-out for low-cost (or no cost is even better) things to  do that are fun and inspiring. A book festival seemed like the perfect outing. There was  no cover to get in and we even utilized public transportation so we didn’t have to pay $10.00 for parking our car. I’ve  always thought it rather ludicrous for one to have to pay for the privilege of parking one’s car. But that’s another blog/rant, right?

I recently read that Americans are reading less and less. This is a pretty dismal statistic so I was happy to see such a great turn-out at the book fair.  Now granted people could have been attending for the food because there were almost as many food tents as there were book tents.  However, I’ll set aside my skepticism and assume people were there to broaden their knowledge and awareness of new literature and not just to sample the latest Panda Express entree or purchase a $5.00 lemonade. Yes, you read it write, lemonade was selling for $5.00.  There would need to be a shot of liquor in any drink I paid $5.00 for, so needless to say I kept my thirst quenched with the water I brought from home.  Disclaimer: We did eventually end up buying a $5.00 + drink  but that was for the Margarita we had in Westwood Village before we headed back home.  And it was $5.00 well spent I might add! :)

Back to the book festival….. Lots of people are self publishing these days which I think is fabulous. I’m a firm believer in we all have something to say. We all have a unique perspective and we all have a story to tell. If a publisher is not willing to pick your work up then you still have an opportunity to get your voice out to the world. Also, just think of the great wealth of stories and information for the reader. Why should we all be at the whims of what publishing houses choose to publish?  They can’t publish everything and have certainly overlooked some good books the first time around. For a list of books that were originally self-published, check this out by clicking here.

Patti Zona author of The Value of a Homemaker is a great example of an author who recently self published. She was signing and handing out copies of her book at the festival.  I was especially intrigued by the title since “homemaker” is pretty much my main job these days. Actually, I like the term “home arts practitioner” better because running a household is definitely an art.   And an often thankless one at that!  I look forward to reading Ms. Zona’s book and several of the other freebies I picked up while making the book tent rounds.In addition to books, there were lots of other great resources for anyone who is interested in writing, publishing, etc…

Since a lot of my blog has to do with living as abundantly as possible even when times are lean, I thought I would pass on an interesting book site I found out about. It’s called Swaptree. It’s a site where you can trade books, music, dvd’s, and video games all for free.  Check it out. You might be able to get that book or cd you’ve been wanting by trading one of yours. You’ll save money and it’s environmentally friendly.

So to reitterate my question in bold at the top of this post. What are you reading right now?

Until next time….

3 Responses to “Los Angeles Times Festival of Books”

  1. Sally says:

    This blog post makes this librarian very happy! I am reading Born in Blood and Fire a Concise History of Latin America.

  2. Maddy says:

    It was a beautiful sunny spring day, what more could you ask for? I enjoyed the surroundings, friendship, discussions, books, insights, laughter (list goes on). It was a mindful day. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    You know how I feel about books–love Sally’s comments.

    I just finished reading In My Mother’s House by Kim Chernin and about to start the book u lent me, The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho.

  3. Shentale says:

    I was unable to attend this year.

    You’re right — the food tents do seem to outnumber (or at least match) the book tents!

    It’s a wonderful feeling though seeing a nice size crowd when it comes to the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Overall, statistics indicate that more and more people in the U.S. are reading substantially less. This is unfortunate. Reading can open a person’s mind to so many opportunities while simultaneously broadening their horizons.

    What am I reading? Juggling three currently: “The Best that Money Can’t Buy,” Jacque Fresco. “The Other Side of Desire,” Daniel Bergner. “Star Trek: Seven Deadly Sins (an anthology),” Dayton Warn, Kevin Dilmore et al.

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