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We know you want to bury your nose in a good book right now, but make sure you look up every now and then or you might miss out on all the exciting book festivals happening around the world. From the prestigious to the independent, there are countless book festivals to attend whether you like to read fiction, nonfiction, children's books, comic books and everything inbetween.
If you get giddy over trips to the bookstore, just wait until you attend a book festival. The average trip to the bookstore involves hopping in your car, driving to the nearest Barnes & Noble (or other notable chain), and getting completely lost with hot coffee in hand. Book festivals operate differently; whereas a bookstore involves mindless browsing in a cold building staffed by sweater-wearing grannies, a book festival is a community-centered celebration. No one shushes you for using your talking voice; in fact, book festivals encourage people to engage with avid readers, up-and-coming writers, and established authors. Think book signings, enlightening group discussions, live readings and a host of other activities. These are crucial steps towards discovering new, captivating stories.
Regional Book Festivals
Book festivals happen anywhere and everywhere; you can practically smell the crisp pages of a best-seller turning at the flick of finger. The most common type are regional literary events, which stack their lineups with local and nationally recognized authors. Some of the most prestigious in America include the Texas Book Festival, Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Brooklyn Book Festival, and Wordstock: Portland's Book Festival. These book festivals, of course, dig deep into the magical world of reading, but wordsmiths and bookworms alike can also enjoy live music performances, film screenings, food truck grub, cooking demos, and draft beer, among many other activities. Believe it or not, literary discovery may happen even when you're standing in line at a food truck figuring out what you want to eat.
International Book Festivals
Global literacy has come a long way since the Middle Ages. If you consider yourself a true bookworm, look no further than the dozens of international book festivals taking place on every continent (except Antarctica, obviously). The Edinburgh International Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, is billed as the largest book festival in the world. Around 800 writers fly in to visit Charlotte Square, the site of the festival, to interact with their fans over the course of three weeks in August. For a more exotic literary experience, check out the Zee Jaipur Literature at Hotel Diggi Palace, the former residence of an Indian royal family.
Comic Book Festivals
Despite what your parents may have told you–-and maybe they still do–-comic books qualify as literature, too. If you like watching the latest movie based on a comic book, take some time to read the original source material too! You might like what you read and find yourself at one of the hundreds of comic cons around the world. Comic cons, like the world-famous Comic-Con International: San Diego is where you can see some of your favorite heroes and villains in the flesh. Just the mere sight of brilliant cosplays can inspire a binge-reading session filled with classics and new releases.
Children's Book Festivals
Many parents have to jump through hoops to get their child to crack open a book. With the attention span of a fruit fly, we can't expect the average 8-year-old to sit still and power through the Harry Potter series in an afternoon. If we can't rely on the Boy Wizard or Captain Underpants to ignite a love for reading, the next best thing is to shuttle them off to a children's book festival. These literary events are jam-packed with compelling reads for children in preschool all the way through middle school. They're much more fun than telling little Johnny to browse the young adult section at your local bookstore. Take them to the Orange County Children's Book Festival, the Virginia Children's Book Festival, or wherever the little ones can let their imaginations run wild.