A day with books. Is there any better kind of day? Before I lapse into poetry I want to put in one more plug for the Easton Book Festival. Today is the last day for this year, but keep an eye out for next October. And you can still catch the videos from this year’s session on the Festival website. Writers can be skittish creatures, you see. We spend time alone and try to get our thoughts into words. We don’t always have regular gatherings. That’s what makes book festivals, well, festive. I didn’t want to appear in person to plug Nightmares with the Bible—it’s too expensive. As a friend said, “What’d you do to make it that expensive?” I was glad, however, to be in person to interview my friend and colleague Robert Repino. The interview will be posted on the Festival website.
An unexpected pleasure is finding acquaintances that you didn’t know were writers. As I said, some of us spend most of our time alone. And even for someone who spends so much time with words it’s difficult to describe the species of euphoria that talking about books evokes. It makes me wonder why we don’t do it more often. Since the pandemic is still with us—the pandemic that interrupted the natural progression of the Book Festival, which began in October 2019—in person events were held outdoors. It was a bit on the cool side yesterday, with some sprinkles of rain, but few sensations match spending a day outdoors in October. If you’re not in this area, please support your local book festival. If you don’t have one, maybe talk with your independent bookstore owner. It can happen.
As I’ve mentioned before, many of us who write make very little money at it. When people ask why we do it, pointing to events like the Book Festival supply the reason. Call it fellowship, or communion, or just a gathering of the hive mind, but finding the other book lovers in your community is a worthy way to spend a Saturday. Book and Puppet has the distinction of hosting the event, with support from Lafayette College and a few local sponsors. It’s also the only bookstore in which I’ve seen my actual books on the shelf. I know it’s a sacrifice to order stock that moves slowly. Halloween, however, is nearly here and that’s the crowd for whom I tend to write. Why not spend a day with books? It’s the best kind of day.