You know, the world is a much better place with books. With all the media and competition for our time and money, I would give up many things before books.
I feel this way not because of how many books I read, but the enjoyment that books bring to so many people.
Growing up I did not read for enjoyment although books were around the house and the town's library was so close to my house. I still remember my junior library card number was J309.
As I went through high school and then into college and work life reading for pleasure was still not important. At at school and work I needed to read because I had to focusing on assigned books, publications, letters/emails, and technical documents.
With work and home life I didn't feel I had the time to read for pleasure beyond reading to my children and then my grandchildren as I had so many other higher priority things to do.
Yet today I am at one of the country's largest book fair in sunny warm and very windy Tucson.
It doesn't seem to fit my personality, but it actually does. I feel happy that we have so many talented authors, illustrators, publishers that bring the joy of reading to others, especially children.
After I retired in January of 2014, I realized I had lived my life in a very limited way compared to many others. I was very technical, but not as social as what I could have been. In order to go on my travels I knew if I wanted to have intelligent conversations with a large segment of the public I needed to allow books into my life in some way.
I needed to read books to expand my world and I just happened to come across this book that I had read. It is about a on call firefighter in a small New York town.
I started reading a few books just before I retired. I select a few to read from listening to the BBC World Book Club podcast book reviews and NPR's book review podcasts. Even if I don't read them I learn about the author and the book.
I arrived at the University of Arizona here in Tucson at 9:30, just as the festival was opening. They had so many vendors set up selling books. Some had the authors to talk to and sign as you bought the books. There were other vendors too like banks, schools, medical facilities, city, state and federal agencies.
The college is on spring break so all parking lots were open at no cost. I parked in a multilevel car park.
There was one large area for children activities to learn about science.
Here are telescopes set up to teach astronomy. I met Jim here and he had his telescope pointed at the sun with a video camera transmitting the image to a flat monitor. He showed me some sun spots. He was a Doser (volunteer) at Kitt Peak for 3 years and gave the tour to the solar telescope that I went on the other day.
There was also a large section of children book sales.
I met author Joni who wrote The Nkhht Brfore My Birthday Book". She explained that this book is for young children that you read the day before their birthday as a tradition and you keep track of doing it by writing in the book and it becomes a keepsake. I liked the idea of this for my granddaughters.
There were many stages set up for authors and literary panelists reviewing books.
I met author Susan who I spoke with for some time about how she overcame her overweight problems and found that traditional methods didn't work for her. Her book come with the ability to write her and ask her questions and share your problems.
She was very impassioned about her book helping woman but very realistic about difficulties they face in managing their weight.
I stopped at this booth that sells old audio books. I told the woman I liked listening to the CBS Mistery Theater as a child on the radio and she said I would like these audio books "stories from the Golden Age".
What they do that is different. They worked with movie studios and took the voice reading of the story and they put corresponding background sounds to give a theater quality of the story. I checked it out on the demo IPod and it was much better quality and experience than the old CBS Mystry Theater background sounds and music. They are available for download from places like ITunes. They are available in paperback, compact disc, ebook, and audio download.
I stopped in the C-SPAN van for a tour. I learned they exist by support from networks and get no federal money.
They were running a book channel today.
Last year I met Ronald McDonald at the Tucson McDonalds I visit. Here he was at the book Festival.
The Greater Tucson Fire Goundation Had their restored 1923 chain drive American LaFrance that was Engine 4 in the city.
The the Book Festival was well attended and there were so many authors here. No matter your interest there were books or other media for you. It was also a very good children's event with all kinds of things to do and try.
Living in and out of my Prius requires a minimalist view as I don't have much extra room. I have to move too much around as it is to live in it.
Each of the many people and authors wanted me to buy their book. I certainly would have liked to buy 4 copies of the day before my birthday book for my granddaughters but I do not have the physical space for them. There were other very nice children's books too.
I told woman who was selling the audio books that I would be interested in trying one of the old style mystery CD's but I have no space and would consider an ITunes purchase.
The festival seemed to be a success and I could imagine avid readers going both Saturday and Sunday to meet the authors and listen to others do readings and answer reader's questions.
I feel that I didn't do the Festival justice in my blog as it was much more than what I discribed. I wore out after 3 hours of walking around and talking to people.
If you get a chance to attend a book fair like this or the Library of Congress National Book Festival that is heald this year on September 5, 2015 at the Walter E Washington Convention Centrt in Washington, DC.