“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx
This weekend Austin hosts one of the premiere literary events in the country. The Texas Book Festival takes place in and around the State Capitol October 25 & 26th, offering events for all ages and interests. Not only does this festival appeal to literary experts and those in the field, but it also caters to casual readers, cookbook lovers, educators and even children who are just learning their ABCs. There truly is something for everyone, and best of all — it’s free.
Founded nearly 20 years ago by Laura Bush and co-chair Mary Margaret Farabee, The Texas Book Festival began as an avenue to honor Texas authors, promote the joys of reading and serve to benefit the state’s public libraries. Since then it’s grown, currently hosting about 250 authors per year with an attendance of about 40,000.
The festival provides attendees the opportunity to mingle with authors, listen to readings, purchase books, visit the many food vendors stationed around the beautiful Capitol grounds and attend several related events such as the “Lit Crawl” on Saturday night.
Getting “lit” with a bunch of book lovers at a crawl is an ideal evening for some, but if you can’t make that there are plenty of family friendly activities during the day. There’s an entire “Family Fun” area including the Children’s Read Me a Story Tent and other featured activities such as the “Bow Wow Reading Dogs,” a Storybook Character Fashion Show, crafts and author readings throughout the weekend.
And of course, it may be about books but the event has that unmistakable “festival” vibe. Live music, tents, freebies, balloons, characters, and of course, food. There are tons of options for food lovers, as well as cooking demonstrations from some of the 12 featured cookbooks.
The Texas Book Fest is a wonderful opportunity to get out and enjoy Austin with the family. The Capitol grounds are beautiful and there truly is something for everyone. And frankly there are too many amazing authors to highlight here — how do I narrow it down? — so for a complete list of authors, festival details and schedule visit the Texas Book Fest website. Happy reading!