Literary festivals are getting too big for their books


Some authors flourish in front of the crowds at the biggest book festivals, but do readers get more from a smaller event?: The Guardian

What is the point of book festivals? To see your favourite authors on stage, hear them read from their books and in conversation? Or meet them, queue up to get their signatures in your first editions, and ask them questions? To discover new writers you had never heard of, try things out and broaden your mind? Or learn how to do something – such as how to make bubble writing bunting, as my children will be doing at the first-ever Greenwich book festival this weekend?

Festival-goers want different things, and festivals, while superficially very similar, have different priorities. All feature authors sitting on stages in tents or theatres, individually or in pairs, usually with a journalist or another writer to introduce them, have a conversation and mediate an exchange with the audience. But the focus and atmosphere of such events can vary hugely, and is not only an effect of the author’s level of fame or success.

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