Jun 10, 2013
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Festival of Books Sponsored by Los Angeles Times

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On April 20th, the L.A. on a Budget team and myself started our day with breakfast at many USC students’ favorite spot Jack N’ Joe before heading to the annual Los Angeles Times’ Festival of the Books at the University of Southern California campus. I have always been an avid book reader so the event was right up my alley.

With the number of vendors, it can be hard for one to decide which books are potentially good reads. One vendor, Njedeh Anthony took the initiative and asked if I would like to be provided with more information on the different books he was featuring. He sold me on two books by doing this: 1) Adulterer and 2) Mind Crawlers. Lesson for vendors: Don’t be afraid to engage those who pass you by.

Additional purchases included a 3D photo taken by Barry Rothstein, DK Eyewitness Travel: Italy, Bossypants by Tina Fey, and Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. Some of the more memorable vendors included Schwabe Books, Traveler’s Bookcase, and Book Soup.

Even though I splurged a little with the above books, the vendors that captured the most of my time were those offering major discounts with book purchase prices as low as $5.00. This was somewhat surprising, because usually I find prices to be higher at book fairs or bookstores than I would on Amazon.com.

I found myself buying into the “discount dream”, especially when I was finding art books (which typically go for about $30.00) at prices as low as $7.00. My purchases from these vendors included:

1) How Music Works by David Byrne

2) Winning Results With Google Adwords by Andrew Goodman

3) The Hollywood Book of Love by James Robert Parish

4) The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Branding Yourself by Sherry Beck Paprocki and Ray Paprocki

5) Facebook Marketing for Dummies by Paul Dunay and Richard Krueger

6) Chuck D: Lyrics of a Rap Revolutionary by Yusuf Jah

7) The Making of Avatar by Jody Duncan and Lisa Fitzpatrick

8) Chihuly at the Oscars essays by Walter Darby Bannard and Henry Geldzahler

Some people may wonder why one would bother going to a book festival when he/she can easily purchase cheap books online. Along with a wide selection of books, many authors were present for book signings. In addition, the festival also had several stages with speakers and performers lined up throughout the day.

 

The first show Steven and I saw was Lisa Loeb. Most people know her from her 1994 hit “Stay”. Now, Lisa enjoys coming up with creative children’s songs like “Disappointing Pancake”. The Festival of Books provides a family-friendly atmosphere. In fact, the stage that Lisa performed on was close to the Target tent, which had several children’s books. I even found some books that I had enjoyed reading as a kid.

The second show we saw, and by far the most memorable, was Debbie Reynolds. Not only did she answer several questions from the audience but we got treated to a wonderful performance of Good Morning, from the musical Singin’ in the Rain. Both humorous and charming, Debbie reminded us why so many adore her.

The Festival of Books provided an excellent opportunity for me to scope out the USC main campus, since it was the first time I had been there. The team and I found free, convenient parking on South Flower Street. The only downside to this is it is still a little ways from the campus. If one plans on purchasing several books, he/she might want to try to find parking closer or grab one of the complimentary bags that some of the vendors are handing out.

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