Monday, October 29, 2012
Texas Book Festival: A Little Slice Of Heaven For A Bookhead
This past weekend I took the opportunity to attend the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas. Being a Bookhead I was looking forward to it. As I strolled through the Exhibitor's tent area a memory came to my mind of a yard sale we had in Brownsville before moving up to New Braunfels. I needed to trim back on my library so I had a table full of books for sale. An elderly man came by and when he saw the books he excitedly exclaimed, “I feel like a kid in a candy store.” Suffice to say he took most of the books off our hands. It was refreshing to see a fellow Bookhead with an excitement for reading.
My basic feeling about the day at the Book Festival was as if I was experiencing a little slice of heaven. A whole day related to reading, books, and authors. Who could ask for more? I can’t say I know what heaven will be like, but as a Bookhead, I imagine there will be a library there with all the literary works from history past.
The favorite part of the day at the Festival was attending lecture sessions lead by various authors. These were primarily held in the State Capital building. It helped to hear from the authors themselves about what the true background of their novels were about. Hearing about their life stories and how that connected to their writing, left me with a better understanding of the passion behind writing. In several cases it was insightful to hear the research that goes into the books. A couple of the authors mentioned how their most popular books took 8-12 years to write due to the research elements in them. The sessions I attended the authors were asked what writers influenced them. Each one had various works of literature and authors that influenced them. The common thread was rightly stated that if you plan on writing your better be reading. It should be common sense that a writer better be a Bookhead. Yet one of the authors mentioned from time to time she gets a statement from a young person that they want to be a writer but they don’t like to read. I have heard that from College students as well and I like the author just shake my head in confusion. How do they expect to write well if they do not read well? Why expect others to read your writing if you are not reading as well?
Being around a crowd of book-lovers for a day was encouraging as well. Before each session, I could hear discussions about reading all around me. At the Exhibitor's tents there were many publishers, the Texas Library Association had a booth, and more importantly organizations that encourage reading and literacy. That all encouraged me that all is not lost; as I read reports come out in the news of fewer people reading. There are organizations trying to encourage young people the importance of reading which is of interest to me. To have a strong stable society we need to have a literate citizenry.
This year I was only able to attend the one day of Saturday. Next year I do plan to enjoy the whole weekend of the book festival. Whether you are a Bookhead or not; do take advantage to attend Book Festivals in your area. If you are visiting Austin in October I highly recommend attending the Texas Book Festival.
Reflection: Use a search engine link Google or Bing and search for the name of your favorite author. Read about their lives. Or if there is a biography about them check at your local library for it. Does knowing about them better help you understand their books in a new light?
Here are a couple of links to find Book Festivals:
Maybe schedule a vacation to a book festival and of course did I mention, Austin is a great place to visit in October to attend the Texas Book Festival?