Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's so great about the Festival of the Book?

Class, this is what is known as a rhetorical question. Obviously, I'm going to tell you what's so great about the Virginia Festival of the Book.

If I answered this question last year, I would have said the best thing was that my friend Melissa was on a panel there. She was funny as always -- this is the woman who once said "I'd eat my own thumb if it were french-fried" -- and she wrote a brilliant book which you should all run out and buy if you haven't already, The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything. Even if you're not a girl you should read it because you will then understand girls better, and isn't that your main goal in life??? [Disclaimer: I assisted in copyediting this book. But I also proofread Methods in Enzymology, and you don't see me recommending that you all run out and buy that, do you? Well, do you????? Although it *is* fascinating.]

Today's theme: fun with question marks.

So last year was fun because I had a star on my hands. But the Bookfest is always fun and interesting. First off, you can discover great new-to-you authors. You can be read to, and you can ask questions. You can get a better understanding of the writer's process, and of course you will feel emotionally bolstered by all the emphasis on books and reading.

But my favorite thing about the Bookfest is the sheer number of readers who attend.

[Wait -- there's a rainbow outside! as opposed to inside! I must go tell the others!]

Ok, I'm back. Let's face it, most readers are solitary creatures. We like to stay home and read. Why, I sometimes don't come out of the house for days. Ok, that might be another problem, a problem (or an opportunity!) like being introverted. Readers tend to be introverted -- oh don't get upset if you're an extroverted reader, no one's casting asparagus at you -- and consequently they often don't meet other readers. Book clubs don't count. Oh, maybe they should. But the Bookfest lures all those readers out of their houses and brings them together. And that's what's so great.

PS To introverted bookish types who want to meet other introverted bookish types, I'll give you a topic with which to chat up people you see at the Bookfest: "So, what have you been reading lately?" (This is a place where you don't want to add too many question marks, as it will just make you appear desperate and plus a little frightening.) You're welcome.

[Disclaimer deux: I'm guest-blogging for the Bookfest. But my love for it has been strong for many years now.]


Melissima said...

Why I am honored! Or rather, I was! That was fun when you were my copy editor, and then my publicist. It's good to have you on my staff. It's so hard to find good help these days.

I'm so jealous! One day I will write another book and then I will maybe get to come back. Remember that gold rental car?

Kathy Likes Pink said...

I really enjoy your blog, but you go so long between postings!

I'm just sayin'.

Catherine said...


You are a star! I have never seen another car like that rental. I believe we must have been having hallucinations.

Kathy Likes Pink,

I'm glad you like my blog! I'm having trouble coming up with ideas lately, but I'm trying!