The LA Times Festival of Books was last weekend, and for once, I admitted I really didn't want to go. They actually had a few authors I'd like to see this year (Ray Bradbury!), which isn't always the case. Still, the combination of driving in, parking, and struggling against the wave of humanity who must want to see the same people I do sounds like less fun than flying out of LAX.
I also freely acknowledge that I am a bit suspicious of Important Books as so many turn out to be boring, disturbing, depressing, or some combination thereof, and that's the kind of adult fiction that's been featured at the LATFB. I mean, how can you have a panel called "Fiction: Exiles and Outsiders" and not have any urban fantasy authors?
The pull was strongest to go to this annual event when my girls were smaller and we lived closer. They do have cool children's authors, and I thought the girls would get a kick out of meeting real authors (not counting Mommy, who writes "boring stuff with other people's names on it"). We never did make the trek over, but my oldest, 15, has decided to become a fantasy writer anyway.
I used to wonder why they didn't have book festivals for books people read the most. I still do wonder that, but now I suppose if they did, it would be an even bigger madhouse to get to, and it would be somewhere like NYC, the other end of the continent from me.
NYC is where they have big conventions for retailers, and that's where I currently drool over going. Yes, it would be a madhouse too, I'm sure, but there would be no parking problem. There is no parking. Take the subway to midtown and walk west. And authors are there wandering around loose, not scheduled for viewing at certain times.
Spring and summer are the big times for other public book festivals, many of which sound like a lot of fun.