Wednesday, April 29

Festival of Books

There are two things I typically look forward to in April. One is the annual American Research Center in Egypt conference (ARCE) and the other is the L.A. Times Festival of Books at UCLA. Usually I can only attend one or the other since they are typically scheduled on the same weekend. This year I did not go to ARCE, but I was glad to have the opportunity to visit the Festival of Books. All of the tents packed with books of every kind covering the UCLA campus is a book lover's paradise. Then you add the fair-type atmosphere with hot dogs, churros, ice cream, slushies and the like, and you have an eminently enjoyable afternoon. Unfortunately, over the past few years the Festival of Books has attracted quite a following. This year the turnout was extraordinary, and as a result I had a very disappointing experience. There were so many people I could barely get into the tents to browse around, which is the whole point of coming. Maybe it was the mild weather or big name authors doing book signings that brought people out. Whatever the reason, they came out in droves this year.

Here's hoping next year's Festivial will coincide with a weekend long heat wave that will keep all but the truly die hard book lovers from coming out!

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