If you’ve ever been to Portland, Oregon, you know we sometimes do things just a little bit differently here. We have the smallest city park in the world, where two of you can stretch your arms across the entire park and hold each other’s hands, and one of the larger urban parks in the country, with over 70 miles of trails to explore. We have dragon boat races and bathtub races. We have Voodoo Doughnuts with two locations to serve you, and far more interesting little places to grab a bite to eat than you could eat at in a dozen years. We have a book store claiming to be the largest bookstore in the world. (Can’t find the book you’re looking for there? It probably isn’t printed yet.) We have Saturday Market, which is actually open both Saturdays and Sundays. Portland = funky in more ways than you can count on both hands and both feet.
One of my all-time favorite things to do is the Wordstock Festival, the ultimate book fair for anyone who loves books, loves to read, loves to talk to the authors of the books, loves anything to do with books. If it’s book-related, I sure do love it, and to me, Wordstock is the ultimate book-lovers’ fun zone. There aren’t any E-ticket rides but the thrill of being around all that bound paper is enough for me.
Every fall, the Convention Center is taken over by books. This year the Wordstock Book Fair is happening on October 5-6 at the Oregon Convention Center. Bring the kids, too, because there’s a children’s stage and discovery place called Little Word that will delight them to pieces, and you, too. Don’t have any little kids of your own? Find some neighbor kids or someone’s grandkids. The kids’ area is just cool!
Represented at the book fair are local Portland area writers and publishers, as well as authors from around the world. You’ll find everything from local history, to how to put together a bug-out bag, to a little pocket-sized vegan cookbook, to a novel whose story-line is written around local landmarks – all printed by small independent book publishers. And that big giant bookstore I mentioned earlier? Well, they show up with tables and tables of interesting books to browse through and maybe buy. There are several stages that host sessions all day long, including such topics as an author giving a short talk followed by questions and answers, or someone giving tips on how to promote your own book better. You might even get a free book from some author who’s giving them away as a promotion! With about 200 authors every year, there’s plenty to keep one busy all weekend!
Although it’s still too early for this year’s line-up to be posted on the Wordstock site, click here to see the archives of previous years, including lists of authors and exhibitors and click here to look over the complete 2012 schedule. I’ll bet it’ll whet your appetite for October – just reading the names of some of the publishers is fun! Who wouldn’t want to see what kind of books they publish with names like those?!
Love a good story? Looking for a good book or two to read? Love to listen to a good story? There’ll be something here for you, I’m sure of it.
In the their own words: Wordstock is the so-much-to-do-in-so-little-time, had-to-be-there festival.
Hope to see you sitting there in the red chair in October!
(Hey! There’s a rhyme in that last sentence!)