LA Times Festival of Books 2023
Author: Greg Lozano
A BIBLIOPHILE’S HAPPY PLACE
It was a warm and sunny day when I found myself strolling through the vibrant and bustling grounds of the University of Southern California. As I approached the grand entrance adorned with banners and posters, I couldn’t help but wonder what awaited me at the 2023 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I’d never been to a literary festival before, and truth be told, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But little did I know that this experience would be a journey of discovery and delight.
Upon entering the festival, I was welcomed by the sight of endless booths and tents, each teeming with excitement and enthusiasm. The event revolved around literature and bookstores, just as I had imagined, but it had much more to offer. What caught my attention was the diverse array of book groups, each dedicated to specific genres, and the soulful live music that set the perfect ambiance for a day of celebration.
As I ventured deeper into the festival grounds, my heart leaped with joy when I stumbled upon the Horror Writers Association, filled with authors of horror. They were a passionate bunch, celebrating and connecting with fellow regional horror authors. Listening to their stories and their journey to become authors was nothing short of magical. It felt like fate had intervened when I connected with them. Their camaraderie and shared passion for horror ignited a spark within me, rekindling my love for the genre and inspiring me to get back into writing horror. The thrill of networking with like-minded individuals was invigorating, and I knew I had found my tribe.
While the festival offered a cornucopia of delights, I couldn’t help but notice a minor gripe—the lack of uniqueness in the vendor tents. Each one resembled a simple white tent with their names printed on it. I yearned for more character and charm that would truly reflect the essence of what each store had to offer. Something I had grown accustomed to from attending numerous comic book conventions. Nevertheless, this small quibble did little to dampen my enthusiasm for the event.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NEW
For newcomers, I highly recommend gathering as much information as possible about the festival beforehand for first-time attendees. Knowing more about the vendors, their specialties, and their clientele can help you maximize your experience and avoid feeling overwhelmed. After all, knowledge is power, and it would have eased my initial apprehensions.
Despite my lack of preparedness, the festival proved to be an enchanting affair, especially when I ran into the horror authors’ tent. It was a moment of serendipity where I felt like I belonged among fellow literature lovers. Their stories ignited a spark, inspiring me to write my own tales someday.
THOUGH IT WAS MY FIRST, IT WON’T BE MY LAST
As the day drew close, I reflected on my experiences and concluded that I would unquestionably attend the LA Times Festival of Books again. This time, armed with more preparation and objectives, I would be ready to immerse myself in the festivities fully. And while I didn’t make any purchases on that particular day, I was eager to return, knowing that the treasure trove of books and stories awaited me.
The LA Times Festival of Books had been a celebration of literature, a gateway to new connections, and an opportunity to embrace the magic of words. It showcased the power of storytelling, bringing together authors, readers, and enthusiasts in a harmonious symphony of literary passion. If you have yet to experience this enchanting event, mark your calendars, gather your reading list, and embark on a literary adventure that will leave you with memories to cherish forever.
So, are you ready to embark on a literary journey like no other? See you at the next Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, where magic and words unite in a spellbinding celebration!
Photos from the LA Times Festival of Books Gallery