What a fantastic weekend to be a book-lover, an author, a Tucsonan, or even a bug enthusiast. (I am only three of these things.)
Yesterday, I was excited to peruse the eighth annual Tucson Festival of Books at the University of Arizona. There are roughly 130K attendees each year, which makes this around the 3rd largest book fair in the nation! You can also find over 500 tents housing a few hundred authors, and you might have some fun exploring “Science City” with the little ones.
Here are some highlights of my weekend:
- I found some very old yet pristine copies of Peter Pan and The Adventures of Pinocchio. Dante’s Comedy and The Hunchback of Notre Dame were nestled in this same pile. As a lover of the classics and a weaver of fairy tales, what a geek-out moment! But get this: the rarity of these leather-bound editions puts their prices well beyond the $4.50 paperback of Peter and the Shadow-Thieves I picked up from the Bookman’s tent. Wanna guess? Did you guess that Peter Pan was valued around $50? Great guess, but it’s actually valued at $72.00… whew! (It’s okay, dear wallet. You needn’t be afraid.)
- Food! First off, books and coffee always belong in the same sentence. They go together like spring weather and gelato. Like mozzarella and spinach. Like popcorn and tutti frutti flavoring. (Yes, all of these things happened.) By the way, has it ever been mentioned what a foodie I am? Seriously, if you ever wanna talk Sonoran hot dogs, Italian cuisine, desserts, burgers, cheeses, or tell me anything about this Taco Cleanse I keep hearing about, you should email me…
- Fear. Actual quote from a friend: “I had no idea you were so squeamish, Jacob!” I’ll let you guess which of these four things prompted that comment. I’ll score you at the end of the post. Was it:
- A) The giant Ronald McDonald balloon overlooking the tents?
- B) The interactive brain exhibit?
- C) The tarantulas, scorpions, and vinageroons on display?
- D) The rattlesnake handler?
- Authors everywhere! How awesome was it listening to Danielle Paige talk about her NYT Best-Selling series, Dorothy Must Die, and to exchange Twitter follows after her panel? How exciting was it to meet fellow YA Fantasy writers like Aaron Galvin and talk books, cover releases, and just as importantly, Batman? And it was so cool getting to sit in a room full of authors, both aspiring and published, and to think Wow. Here I am at 25, and the journey is just beginning. Seriously, that will never stop being amazing to me. I will never take these opportunities for granted. My heart thunders with gratitude.
Let’s see how you did on my quiz. If you guessed:
- A) The giant Ronald McDonald balloon: you were almost right. This thing is terrifying. I’m pretty sure it would make Freddy Krueger thrash in his sleep.
- B) The interactive brain exhibit: you are so wrong! Brains warm my heart, and I love them so much. Maybe I’m part zombie?
- C) The tarantulas, scorpions, and vinageroons? Ding ding ding! You win! I hate every one of these things, each of which I’m convinced was burped up from Hell’s ninth circle.
- D) The snake handler? I’m so sad you answered this way. I love snakes! They’re scaly and fun and I like that they eat other creepy crawlies.
Fun fact as St. Patrick’s Day is this week: if anybody says “Top of the mornin’ to ya!” the proper response is, “And the rest of the day to yourself!” If you think about it, isn’t it kind of rude to wish somebody “the top of the morning” then, knowing you’re going to get a significantly greater wedge of the clock in return? I’ll let you mull that over…