Evelyn Eman Delmar

From the Archives: A Feast of Fests

Note to Readers – Every now and then, I will re-post a blog entry that has withstood the test of time. Whether you missed it the first time ‘round or read it years ago, I feel it’s worth sharing again. I chose A Feast of Fests from April 20, 2014 – and updated it — because we’re entering a new season of literary celebrations that every booklover should know about.

When the mind is hungry, few things satisfy as well as a good book. Fortunately, there are feasts around the country throughout the year to fulfill every taste. From small block parties to massive convention exhibits, in every size and genre, there is a book event waiting for you. With the long winter finally departing, the number of book fests, fairs, exhibits, conventions and all variety of literary celebrations is growing. This is good for writers, readers and the publishing industry.

In the age of Amazon and other online booksellers, you might feel inclined to lounge in your … whatever you lounge in … and simply connect through the internet to someplace in cyberspace for a book you’ve preselected in your mind. It’s fast. It’s convenient. It’s also impersonal, colorless, bland. When is the last time, ordering online, you discovered a book or spoke with its author, experienced the “bookness” of books with all your senses (yes, a book can even inspire a taste on the tongue), felt exhilarated as if you were a guest at a banquet? Book fests can offer all these rewards and more.

Book fests may simply be large book sales, but most combine presentations, workshops, readings, book signings, exhibits and social gatherings, along with sales.

The Book Reporter, The African American Literature Book Club (AALBC) and Everfest offer expansive lists (with links) of literary events in 2017 and 2018.

I’ve chosen the following 10 upcoming festivals around the U.S. to get you started:
Unbound Book Festival — (April 21)
Pen Word Voices — (May 1-7)
Printers Row Literary Fest — (June 10-11)
Lewisburg Literary Fest — (August 4-5)
National Book Fest — (September 2)
Beast Crawl — (September 2)
Iowa City Book Festival — (October 10-15)
Rocky Mountain Literary Festival — (October 21)
Boston Book Festival — (October 28)
Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival — (November 11)

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your literary life in 2017 and 2018, feast on a book fest!

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