Experience Books, Authors and Readers!

Books, Authors and thousands of readers!  All of the elements necessary for an excellent experience for a Librarian.

I attended the 2011 Texas Book Festival. The Festival provided two full days of books and authors.  My daughter and I had a plan and between the two of us, we either heard or talked at book signings to about 45 authors!  Several author panels helped make that number possible.

Each author was an experience; different in their own ways, but connected by a love of writing and a passion for their subject.

Molly Shannon of Saturday Night Live fame – “Tilly the Trickster” is just like she is on TV; vivacious, charming and always fun.  She interacted with the crowd and made her long line for signing well worth the wait.

Jeff Guinn – “The Last Gunfight” is an exceptional story teller, both on paper and in person.  He teases out those bits of information that make the story come alive.  Listening to him is like sitting around the table listening to your favorite uncle tell stories from his childhood.  You feel like Jeff was at the OK Corral and knew everyone involved!

Stacy Schiff – “Cleopatra” made you understand the palace intrigue and political scheming that was Cleopatra.  Cleopatra was a beauty who could scheme with the best of Rome.  She was much more than the Hollywood character.

Jordan Kaye – “How to Booze” was energetic and entertaining.  He speaks with the professional knowledge of a mixologist but does it in a way that makes anyone feel they can mix a drink for the most discerning guest.

After Paula Deen, one of the most popular authors was David Eagleman – “Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain.”  David has an excellent ability to take a staggeringly complex subject; the workings of our brain, and make it understandable.  He is doing groundbreaking research into the subject.

These are five authors I heard and talked to.  They are representative of the quality at the Festival, but are by no means the only ones who brought wonder, laughs and an occasional tear to the eye.

Adding to the wonderful mix of authors were the huge number of volunteers.  They are passionate about making the Book Festival a success. they were unfailingly polite, helpful and did everything they could to make you feel as if the Festival was just for you alone.  Even the most harried, exhausted volunteer took time to stop and answer questions with a smile and a welcome.

The weather was beautiful.  Everything went so well from an attendees perspective, it seemed they had arranged the weather as well.

Because of my interest in the subject, I watched for good and bad experiences during the whole Festival and was consistently amazed at how well they maintained the good experience for the estimated 35,000 attendees.

For any reader, I highly recommend attending a book festival.   They rarely fall short and by my experience, usually exceed my expectations!