Today was the First Annual Boston Book Fest (http://www.bostonbookfest.org/). I was late (as usual) so I missed a few of the speakers/lectures I would’ve attended, but I still had a good time. There was more of a crowd than I was expecting (meaning: I had to wait 10 minutes in line for a free cup of coffee!) which was actually pretty exciting because it means the event was popular. I had a hard time walking through the crowd and skipped several booths I would’ve liked to have visited, but oh well.
Poetry at a book festival
The one event I did attend was (essentially) a poetry slam. Jazz (drums & a sax) performed behind Robert Pinsky and his poems. My favorite line (and the only one I remember) was “Sweet Babylon, headphones. Song bones.” It caught my attention. Poetry is… interesting. But I’m not sure it’s my thing. I’ll try again in another year or so.
Boston’s love affair with books
I’m glad Boston has finally decided that we’re a book-friendly city with enough people to support a festival. Because we are. There are so many great bookshops—my favorites probably being the Brookline Booksmith, MFA, Rodney’s in Central Square and Trident Booksellers on Newbury (they’re open late!). It’s funny to think that I worked at Barnes & Noble for over 5 years and hardly ever set foot there anymore. Even now when I go to a chain bookstore, it’s usually a Borders (that’s because I work above one and they have cheap & tasty coffee—and awesome e-mail deals).
Boston has a lot of independent bookshops and a lot of publishers (big and small alike). It’s about time there was a festival to support the industry. I spoke with one guy at a stall who was surprised how long it took for something like this to be implemented in Boston. And, I think, most of us are hopeful the annual festival will continue past its first year. I’d gotten into a few heated arguments about the fact that the Boston Book Fest was advertising it as the “First Annual”. “How can it be annual if it’s the first?” my friend said. My thought was that it would be better for advertising & marketing purposes because the organizers are obviously planning to make it recurring. But I also think that I argued the point because I wanted the festival to be a success. And I hope it was so I can go again.