One of my favorite events throughout Boston is coming up next weekend – the annual Boston Book Festival. A weekend festival that’s all about celebrating the power of the book and our cultural love for the printed word, it’s got everything from books for purchase and free journal samples, to talks and presentations by award-winning authors and up-and-comers alike. The Festival will be held from October 17 – 19, 2013 and is the perfect Boston attraction for book lovers. Situated in the center of the city – and, not so incidentally near the main branch of the Boston Public Library – the Boston Book Festival is in and throughout Copley Square all three days. Historical Trinity Church, Boston Public Library, and the more modern Back Bay Events Center are just a few of the host sites for the weekend’s author events.The Book Fair portion of the Festival is set up in the square itself. Stroll through and browse the many stalls and exhibits, pick up some copies of local literary journals or popular presses, learn about literacy and educational programs in the Boston area, and get information about literary conferences, conventions, and events. Of course, you can always pick up a tote bag or t-shirt, too, at this fun and free Boston attraction. The other portion of the Boston Book Festival that attracts the majority of its visitors is the extensive selection of speakers and presenters. This year, there will be over 150 presenters, speakers, and scholars from the Greater Boston area and across the globe – everyone from popular fiction authors to prize-winning journalists. The majority of panels are free and open to strolling in, although a few speakers require advance ticket reservations due to crowding. Among the featured presenters is beloved children’s artist and author Tommy dePaola, whose 1976 work, “Strega Nona” is a Caldecott Honor Book has been voted one of the best children’s books of all time. dePaola has spent more than 40 years delighting both children and parents with his charming and distinctive style. Listen to his presentation on Saturday in Copley Square, as the kid’s keynote speaker. In addition to dePaola’s speech, there will also be a wide selection of kid-centered panels, activities, and readings, making the Boston Book Festival an ideal family-friendly Boston attraction. Another star of this year’s Boston Book Festival is renowned author Salman Rushdie, winner of the Booker Prize and author of some of the most well-known pieces of the literature of the last century, including “Midnight’s Children,” “The Satanic Verses” and “The Moor’s Last Sigh.” As the keynote speaker, Rushdie will be talking on Friday at 7:30 in the Old South Sanctuary. Of course, many of the presenters discuss their work as part of a panel presentation. These are often organized by theme and are an incredibly varied selection of interests. You’ll see everything from kid-focused panels to discussions on digital media. One of the panels I’m particularly excited about is entitled, “Writing Terror: An Exploration of Fear,” featuring Wes Craven, Mary Louise Kelly, Jessica Stern, and Valerie Plame Wilson. For complete details of events and presenters, consult the Boston Book Festival schedule. Whether you’re a casual reader of comics or a devoted lover of literature, the 2013 Boston Book Festival is a fun and family-friendly Boston attraction that is not to be missed.
Boston Book Festival 2013