Publishing may be going through major changes, thanks in very large part to the little and not-so-little devices most of us haul around these days. But one thing remains a constant at every book event: the shy, then not-shy, author-writer hello.
It's our very favorite part of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, a 17-year tradition that is fully made up of favorite parts. Thousands of book lovers will be out enjoying the parts they love best on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21 on the USC Campus.
There shall be ample author-writer hello-ing at the booths and tables and panels, where big names and getting-bigger names will be signing and chatting.
Carol Burnett, Molly Ringwald, and Demetri Martin are set to appear -- Ms. Burnett talking about a memoir of her daughter, Ms. Ringwald discussing a novel, and Mr. Martin chatting about his new humor and drawing book -- as well as many, many other scribes. How many? This many. Prepare to do some heavy-duty scrolling.
Live music, storytellers reading stories (Lucy Dahl, Roald Dahl's daughter, is set to read "Matilda" -- fun), and cooking demos fill out the packed-as-a-page schedule. Conversations, too, are plentiful, including one between Margaret Atwood and Michael Silverblatt.
The Festival of Books, as always, is free, but stash some cash for that gem you didn't expect. Our all-time prized book find was photocopied and hand-bound by a first-time writer, a writer who wrote rather heart-breakingly about opera, Italy, and romance.
You'll only find stuff like that if you stop and initiate conversation with the authors waiting to talk to you, and maybe sell you a book, too. Don't be shy, book lover. We readers all have to look up from our pages and iPads now and then.