The Festival of Books is here!

This weekend at UCLA, it’s the LA Times Festival of Books!

No Rock Bottom Remainders this year, but we still enjoyed the browsing earlier today. The weather was sunnier and warmer this year than last, and seemed to bring the crowds out early. I had wanted to participate in the giant crossword puzzles again, but as it turned out we didn’t see any.

The exhibitor whose booth is don’t-miss for us is Pennyworth Books. (I would link here, but they’re apparently rebuilding their website at – it’s supposed to be launching very soon, though.) Every book $5! Paperbacks and hardcovers, everything new and many of pretty recent publication. I picked up four of them: The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, I’ll Take You There by Joyce Carol Oates, A Ship Made of Paper by Scott Spencer, and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. All were books I’ve picked up and put down again in bookstores before, but for $5 each it was fine not to pass them up. I felt a little bad that TallGuy didn’t find anything he wanted, but other than that it was a good stop.

We visited the booth for Every Picture Tells a Story, a really cool kids’ bookstore and illustration-art gallery (they also had an art exhibit in one of the UCLA buildings), which was where I bought my pop-up edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at last year’s Festival, but this year I wasn’t really tempted by anything. We also stopped in a couple of travel-bookstores booths, and I bought a travel memoir, Educating Alice by Alice Steinbach, at Distant Lands – Pasadena, which according to their website is a whole lot more than a travel bookstore.

Since we skipped the children’s area this year and didn’t stop for any shows or signings, our Festival visit was briefer than last year’s, but it’s always worth going (except for the parking charge, it’s free to get in) and was still enjoyable. And hey, maybe the Rock Bottom Remainders will be back next year.

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One comment

  1. I went! But I didn’t get to stay long. I saw pennyworth… but I didn’t want to wait in line to pay. Maybe I can tag a long with you next year. My hubby wasn’t too thrilled about being there and neither were my kids.