So you love books—a lot. But you’re also in college, which means there's several hundred pages of assigned reading each week that you may or may not actually finish between the coffee-fueled all-nighters. If you’re anything like me, your days of reading for pleasure are on pause. You can hardly find time to socialize, much less catch up on the latest novels. Instead, you stockpile interesting new books on your shelves and stare at them longingly on the weekends.
Thankfully, the fourth annual San Antonio Book Festival will take place on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. allowing you to socialize and celebrate your love of books.
WHAT IS THIS “BOOK FESTIVAL” YOU SPEAK OF?
Imagine a Comi-Con for books – filled with author panels, a marketplace where you can buy books and assorted other book-nerd memorabilia, and a host of fun activities scattered throughout the day. The major difference is that this festival doesn’t require you to empty your bank account to attend. It’s Free.
Free, day-long entertainment on a weekend – what’s not to like?
BUT WAIT, I DIDN’T READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS.
Let’s say you looked at our schedule and didn’t see anything from your reading list. That’s awesome! Why, you ask? Because you're able to listen to authors discuss current issues, themes, and the storytelling process—and if you like it, you can buy a book about it. Studies show we’re still reading avidly when we get the time; why not take a day to build up your summer reading list?
Even if you’re dead broke, you can still sit in on intelligent panel discussions with authors covering topics like feminism, mental illness, environmentalism and more. But there's more to see and experience at the festival beyond author presentations and panels.
LIKE WHAT ELSE?
You like cooking? Sweet—go check out the Central Market Cooking Tent, with live demonstrations by the authors who wrote the cookbooks being featured at this year’s festival.
How about shopping? The Festival Marketplace is stuffed to the gills with books from local presses, literary merchandise like handcrafted journals and bookmarks, and even awesome T-shirts by local vendors like Barbacoa Apparel.
Just want to have some fun? Don’t miss the chance to get something written for you at the Typewriter Rodeo booth or to snag a prize at the KSAT Wheel.
Have younger siblings? Send teenagers over to Geektown—the day-long activities and scavenger hunt will keep them more than busy while you roam the festival. For children who are elementary-aged or younger, make a stop at the children’s activities section.
What about partying it up? When the day is done, make sure to hit the Literary Death Match. Do you really want to miss a live stage comedy act where authors square off with dramatic readings and are judged hilariously for your viewing pleasure? I didn’t think so. After you’ve laughed ‘til you cried at LDM, don’t forget to stop at the Books & Booze after party held at The Last Word.
OKAY, SOLD. WHERE IS IT?
The San Antonio Book Festival is held at the Central Library and in the streets immediately surrounding the building. If you’ve got a car, check out our parking options on the main website here.
If you need a ride, we’ve partnered with Uber this year. When you use promo code SABOOKFEST, first-time Uber riders will get up to $20 off their first trip.
Check out our festival map in the meantime to get yourself situated once you’ve found parking. Make sure you stop by one of the info booths to collect your SABF sticker and program of the day’s events.
Feel the need to do some recon on your own ahead of time? Check out our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to keep up to date on the latest happenings as the festival approaches. Also make sure to find us on Eventbase, where you can skim through the schedule and build your own custom agenda for the day ahead of time.
Oh, and make sure to give us an earful about your experience on social media while you’re there. Let us know what you liked, hated, and what you think could make the festival even better. It’s all good to know.
GOT ANY TIPS FOR COOL AUTHORS TO CHECK OUT?
We have a pretty awesome selection this year, if I do say so myself. Here’s a few you might want to put on your festival bucket list.
Authors Lila Bowen (“Wake of Vultures”) and Robert Jackson Bennett (“City of Blades”) will hold a panel discussing the intricacies of world-building in fantasy literature.
Kate Bolick (“Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own”) and Rebecca Traister (“All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation”) will take part in an author panel talking about the rising trend of unmarried women of the millennial demographic and beyond.
Sonia Manzano, the author of “Becoming Maria” who played “Maria” on Sesame Street, will talk about her experiences in her 44 years working on America’s favorite street.
Author Marisa Abrajano (“White Backlash”) will give a talk on the climate of race, immigration, and politics in today’s society. Matt Lewis and Annemarie Bouman (“Baked Occasions”) will give a demonstration of a recipe from their fantastic dessert cookbook.
The Book Festival is the signature program of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen the library in service to our community.
Disclosure: San Antonio Book Festival Executive Director Katy Flato sits on the Rivard Report board of directors. Learn more here.
*Top Image: A great selection of books to be found at the Festival Marketplace. Photo Courtesy of the San Antonio Book Festival.