Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.


The last weekend in April, every year, UCLA hosts the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Now, I’ve made my fair share of snide comments about how no one reads in Los Angeles, which, I will tell you, is completely unsustained by facts. In fact, L.A. reads more per capita than any other city in the U.S. (sorry San Francisco and New York, get off those high horses), except for whatever hole that Iowa Writing Program is based in.

Every year, the Festival reinforces this in my mind. As tens of thousands of people descend on UCLA and I run around like a crazy woman trying to organize four separate booths, I draw a year’s worth of inspiration from the fact that people are excited about reading. That they get upset if we sell out of a particular title. That they get excited about their favorite author talking to them about something completely inane, or totally inspirational. Some bring their well worn, well loved copies of books for an author that has touched them to inscribe something meaningful on the page. Some simply come to find a new story, a new love, a new escape. Some come for Giada, some come for Bradbury, some come for the experience, but they all come for books. And how thrilling that is for someone in an industry that has faced so much struggle in the past fifteen years.

My absolute favorite thing this year was this canvas wall that the L.A. Times booth had. It read simply ‘What Are You Reading?’ across the middle and throughout the weekend people wrote thousands of titles all over the wall. Books from Twilight (which had the biggest showing on the wall) to the Qur’an, The Giver to Columbine, all scrawled across the wall. Parents lifted their kids on their shoulders to get room at the top, people wrote over each other’s books, and by the end of the weekend it was a black wall of hope for readers. Hope for people who love a great phrase, a great story, a great sentence.

Awe inspiring, that’s what it was. And this morning/afternoon as I trudge off to work after a week of working no less than twelve hour days to go reconcile the accounting (my least favorite part by far), I am inspired for the next year to continue selling books and writing books and dedicating my life to the pursuit of a higher truth through books.

Peace, Love, and Graffiti Walls,


April 27, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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