The Texas Book Festival (TBF) began with a simple purpose: to bring authors and readers together in a celebration of literature and literacy¹. The mission of the book festival is to promote literacy and Texas libraries. Part of the proceeds from the festival are used to give grants to Texas libraries for collection enhancements. It also funds the Reading Rock Stars program, a literacy initiative that brings national authors to Title I schools in Texas to inspire young readers. It sends them home with a book of their very own.
The first festival was held in November of 1996, which was around the same time we moved into our current house. Twenty years and we have never attended! I find it hard to believe that I have been remiss in supporting literacy and libraries in this way!
So it was on this gloomy Sunday that Jim, Alexis and I made our way to downtown Austin for this year’s Book Festival. Every year it is held in and around the Texas State Capitol. This year’s festival had over 275+ authors. There was something for almost everyone. This year three of our favorites were in Austin: Lois Lowry, R.L. Stine and Mercedes Lackey. We didn’t get to see any of them due to poor planning on our part. When we go next year, we need to have a better strategy. Still, we had a wonderful time, wandering through the exhibition tents and looking at all the books. I was able to pick up a couple of good books that will make excellent blog entries at a later date.
We stopped by the story tent and listened to Matthew Reinhart create a pop-up story about a princess triceratops for a group of very engaged second graders. We wandered past the Central Market Cooking Tent and watched a part of the Taco Scientists Presents: The Taco Cleanse. It looked tasty. We went to the C-SPAN2/BookTV tent and listened to Evan Smith interview David Clay about his book The Making of Donald Trump. We ambled through the Capitol ground and through the Capitol. Even with the rain, we had a delightful day.
Alexis likes to bake and decorate cupcakes so we went to the HEB Read 3 Cupcake Challenge Final. Five teams were decorating cakes based on stories that they had drawn at the beginning of today’s competition. This competition was in support of HEB’s Read 3 literacy initiative. This program encourages parents to read to their children at least three times per week. They sponsor book drives and try to help get books into the hands and homes of children and families who need books in their homes.
I am excited about one book that I picked up today. It had no friends on the table in the Barnes and Noble tent. I don’t know, if other book nerds like me picked it up or it was a singleton, but the title said, “You must buy me!” and so I did. How can you pass up a book with chapter titles like these? You can expect to hear more about this book!
Candide Says Relax. Then Get to Work.
Am I a Man or an Android?
Staying out of the Bell Jar
Burning Books: One Crappy Job
Why To Kill a Mockingbird Makes a Great Father’s Day Gift
The Renaissance of Nerds of The Phantom Tollbooth
Beware of Revolutionaries Who Look Like Pigs