We were thinking back to the first time we visited the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and how we were advised to arrive with tote bags, carb-loaded nut bars, a hat, and loads of patience. Turns out the pals advising us were right on all counts. Visiting this gargantuan spectacular that's devoted to the written word, and the writers doing the writing, and the readers doing the reading, benefits from a bit of prep work.
That's not to say that if you, on the spur of the moment, hop on the bus and head down to Westwood on Saturday you won't be totally delighted. But keep in mind there are lines for a lot of the authors, for many of the signings, that book booths can get crowded (definitely when there are sweet discounts to be had), and the sun can get glare-y. Is it all completely worth it? Yes. We love this event, and we're not alone. Oh boy, we're not alone.
Attending authors in 2009 include Aimee Bender, Mary Higgins Clark, Clive Barker, Giada de Laurentiis, Michael J. Fox, Sandra Tsing Loh, Merrill Markoe, Gore Vidal... well, phew. We're getting writer's cramp listing them all. The roster of notables is as long as an author's "thank you" page and then some. Check it out.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26
UCLA Campus, Westwood
Tickets are free, but parking on campus costs $9