Books, books, books

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April Rios

During the Apr. 22 Los Angeles Times Book Festival at the University of California, author Adam Gidwitz speaks about his book A Tale Dark and Grimm in order to promote it to other parents and their children. A Tale Dark and Grimm tells a story of the classic Hansel and Gretel characters in a different and more in depth adventure through the forest.

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

During the weekend of April the 21 through 22, USC hosted the 17th annual Festival of Books to promote the joys of reading and to help readers connect with various publishers and authors.  The festival promptly began on Saturday at 10:00a.m. and ended at 6:00p.m., then started again 10:00a.m. on Sunday and ended at 5:00pm.

The campus was flooded with tents from publishers to help promote their companies. The purpose of the festival, apart from engaging bibliophiles, is to help expose unique, smaller book companies. For instance, the Purple Publishing Company helps push forward work that centers on queer issues, or the Indie Book Co. that spreads the work or authors who prefer to steer clear from bigger publishers. In the same vein, the Knopf-Double Day Group can help spread their already large place in the book world. The motley amount of groups gathered helped spread visibility, and it also allowed obscure groups to gain attention, such as the poetry company that publishes independent to sell their work.

“I honestly didn’t know there were so many people that sold their work, whether independtly or not,” attendee Mark Oshiro said. “It’s a little overwhelming to see so many unknown things, but after a while it seems natural.”

Going to tents to look at merchandise was not the only thing to do, however; some authors made special appearances and held talks for large audiences. Some of the special guests, such as Betty White or the rookie band Caitlin Notey, also captivated and demanded attention from attendees.

“One of my favorite presentations was the one by Betty White,” Karla Sanchez said. “She’s so funny and adorable; it was definitely a highlight.”

The event ended at 5:00p.m. on Sunday, but people hardly felt any desire to leave. Even at 4:30 the retail bookstores scrambled to sell their merchandise, and authors tried to bring people to their tents.

“It was very hectic but definitely worth it,” Amanda Humpich said.

Next year, Los Angeles will host the Festival of Books, and it has yet to be confirmed whether or not it will be held at USC; regardless, it is sure to be as fun and entertaining, as it was this year.