Books are known for having surprising twists around the middle of the story, but book festivals? Maybe not so much. You know you'll find authors signing recent releases, child-nice storytimes, and bestsellers for sale, often at a discount.
But the larger story of book festival culture does a rather interesting curve, and it is this: Los Angeles has become quite the lit-gathering leader over the last few decades. People in other places may guffaw and protest, claiming that the only thing an Angeleno reads is A) a film script or B) the ingredients on the back of a wheatgrass bottle.
Both of those things might have some validity, but what of the powerhouse Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the autumn-mellow West Hollywood Book Fair, the prestigious LA Art Book Fair, and the up-and-coming Grand Park Downtown Bookfest?
Naysayers, step back.
Or step forward, and make for Grand Park on Saturday, March 29. It's just a fortnight ahead of the LA Times mega fest, so it'll set your book-loving mood, but it isn't just a first course: The still-new gathering has the distinction of the only LA book festival "that focuses on the local community," meaning a bevy of Los Angeles presses will be out in festive force.
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Plus? 826LA will ask patrons to write a line for the World's Longest Story, the Story Pirates shall perform, DIY authors'll be on the grounds, and essays about Union Station's 75th anniversary will be read.
Price? You've heard of free, right?
Good stuff, funky, unique, flavorful, all that. So here's another twist for LA's rising book festival cred: Grand Park is the place to go for a local splash of lit love.