After spending two full days at the 5th Annual Tucson Festival of Books, here are my thoughts on what this festival, attended by over a hundred thousand people represented to me. It was indeed “where words and imagination came to life”, especially in the Science City area where children & adults participated in hands- on activities complimenting science books, pamphlets, brochures.
And it was indeed a festival full of imagination for those who write fiction, science fiction, poetry, mystery, or romance. But it was much more than that, celebrating the book itself.
I listened to talks on medieval history and religion (my husband Albrecht Classen’s Segesser book and Dr.Donald Weinstein’s Savonarola biography), three mystery writers who enjoy creating stories in which their readers have to decipher clues to figure out “who dun it?”, current event authors about modern day politics & elections, civility, uprisings, democracy in America, and finally a panel of five journalists (all men dressed in black), who made us realize how important reading and the printed word is.
I stumbled into a tent where animated author Chuck Klosterman was speaking about the “veil of ignorance” in American society, asking his rapt audience “What is goodness?, what is evil?” It seems he is pondering those answers in his popular books.
I laughed for an hour watching and listening to AZ Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons (who cartoons and also writes a column). Especially funny was his cartoon that tried to explain what a “book” is to modern day children — as being something that occurred between a stone tablet and a Kindle. We’ve come a long way in book publications in our long history of human reading and writing.
And we attendees enjoyed the celebration of the printed word for the sake of education, learning, information sharing, news – whether in actual print as in a bounded book with pages, or in a newspaper or magazine, or even online at news sources like ours, or electronic E-books downloaded into Kindles.
This Tucson Festival of Books (now the 4th largest in the nation) is a huge success because people still like to read books, purchase & own their own books, borrow books from the public and school libraries, read monthly magazines on diverse topics, and even seek information online on their computers, I-Pads, Androids, etc.
Can you imagine a world without books or libraries or bookstores? Beware the world of “Fahrenheit 451” (a society in which books are confiscated & burned) or “1984” (where news articles are re-written to reflect current political thought, and words were being destroyed.)
Let’s look forward to the 6th Annual Tucson Festival of Books.
Enjoy reading. Enjoy literature. Enjoy the printed word.