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A couple of weeks ago Tucson held its first Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus. I read about it in the paper and decided to see what it was all about. I was astounded at the extent of it and the huge number in attendance. There were several local sponsors and they estimate around 30,000 people attended! 400 authors, yes 400 authors were there to hold seminars, do readings, and sign books. The only draw back was that you couldn't be in more than one place at a time because there was so much on the agenda to do!
What a great opportunity for readers to meet their favorite authors like Elmore Leonard, J.A. Jance, and Luis Alberto Urrea. And for writers, to have a place to get together and meet, share and learn from each other.
There was plenty of good food and fun, with Merl Reagle seen in the movie "Wordplay" leading group crossword puzzles on the mall and the cartoonist Fitzsimmons entertaining the crowd with his sketches and humor. It was easy to locate the exhibit tents with the cooking demonstrations, follow the aromas rising from the pages of the cookbooks!
Kids had plenty to do meeting beloved characters from cherished books and even having a chance to have breakfast with Clifford and Curious George! After that they could go to the storytelling stage or story blanket and hear the authors read their own stories.
I was so, so thrilled that I discovered this fabulous event and I can hardly wait until next year's Festival! If there's one near you, don't miss it!