Where Bookworms Go To Party

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What: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Where: University of Southern California


While it seems nearly everyone left the city over the weekend and migrated to the scorching Indio desert for the annual Coachella music festival, I stayed in town and partied at the other one…the festival where bookworms go. Yes, I’m a total nerd (and proud of it).

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The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is an accomplished mixture of live music, art, food, and of course, all things books. Its goal is to unite authors and readers, those with pure love for the written word together in one venue for a two-day celebration. Approximately 150,000 people make their way to the esteemed USC campus to hear talks with authors; attend poetry readings while lying on the warm grass; rock out to up-and-coming bands; indulge in food trucks galore; and walk booth after booth of local merchants, organizations, and booksellers.

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{People everywhere!}

And so, this past Saturday afternoon found me making the trek East to the other side of town to finally see what all the fuss is about. After a not so happy $10 parking fee (ugh), I quickly perked up at the sight of food everywhere as soon as I stepped out of my car, particularly when I saw the elusive Grilled Cheese Food Truck (that’s been on my list of places to try forever). I perked up some more when I saw the sign for funnel cakes, and full-blown elation hit me when I saw Lindes Almonds and fresh kettle corn one booth over. Yes, this was going to be a special Saturday, indeed.

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{The Grilled Cheese Truck.}

As I walked away from the food trucks (making a mental note to return later), I soon noticed myself grooving to the melody of soulful R&B music, looked up and joined the crowd in front of a large stage and listened to a band that I instantly fell in love with, Idesia. Their sound was fresh, their vibe contagious – the audience clearly feeling the tune to their song and I was one of them. I ended up staying through their entire set.

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{Idesia.}

Having had a feel for what was going on on the food and music front, I turned toward books. I strolled along lanes consumed with booths full of works covering every genre imaginable. I smiled to myself often, thinking about how much I’d always loved being around books, something that stems from my childhood (that I’ve fondly written about before here).

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{Books, books, books!}

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{Again, people everywhere!}

The afternoon found me wandering, people watching, then joining a poetry reading by Douglas Kearney from his collection of poems in Patter. I sat on the grass listening as he lyrically emoted his personal account of struggling with infertility with his wife.

poetryATG{Douglas Kearney poetry reading.}

I browsed the endless rows of booths throughout the day, particularly impressed with Yes & Yes Designs, a company that designs jewelry exclusively made from books! Pretty cool, huh?

Yes & Yes Designs

{Yes & Yes Designs jewelry booth.}

As the sun started to set later in the day, I made my way back to the food trucks and finally stopped at that elusive Grilled Cheese Truck, but not before a visit to the Lindes booth to gather those famous glazed almonds and a bag of fresh kettle corn to-go. It was almost a 20 minute wait, but as I bit into my Cheesy Mac Melt, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with country-style mac and cheese – it was worth the wait (and the calories).

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{Grilled cheese heaven.}

I made my way back to the car, relaxed and happy – high off that first bite of my grilled cheese sandwich. I had sweet treats to indulge in at home, a couple of books in my bag, a new band that I was excited about, and one memorable Saturday afternoon under my belt.

The LA Times Festival of Books just might become an annual party.

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{I loved this saying.}

 

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Where Bookworms Go To Party

    • Yes, it was a great day! The Grilled Cheese Truck posts their schedule online, I’m sure it’ll be a breeze to catch it during your visit next month. Talk soon! xx

  1. I wish we had something like that around where I live! I would indulge in it so much! I just want to experience a festival I think. I don’t think I’ve ever been to one honestly. At least anything that I liked a lot. I would love to have joined you at this one though! Sounds so cool and unique! 🙂

    • There has to be SOMETHING in your neck of the woods, Meghan!?! Festivals of any kind are always a unique experience! I don’t go to the big music festivals or anything, but I’ll go to the smaller music ones and a lot of the film festivals around town. It’s a great way to indulge in the arts and be around like-minded people. Plus it’s a-okay to eat, eat, eat all. day. long. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      • True, true! I don’t think I’ll ever go to a BIG music festival. I’ll just get hurt if I do that. Lol 🙂 I love to experience it all. We have a festival I guess thats what you would call it, a city near my hometown and it’s pretty interesting, but it’s so difficult to get anybody else to go with me. 😦

    • Hi Christine,
      Perhaps with the trendiness of anything “festival” right now – it’ll make its way across the country eventually. Then again, you might already have something like this going on in Chicago and not even know about it. The publicity for these kinds of things isn’t usually very obvious. Case and point: I’ve lived in LA my whole life and first heard about this festival last year and it’s been going on since 1996! Try a Google search in your area – you might be surprised. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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