Festival of Books celebrates tenth anniversary in Tucson

Updated: Mar. 11, 2018 at 5:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Another festival is in the books. This year marked ten years for the Tucson Festival of Books, celebrating people near and far picking up a book to read.

The first chapter was ten years ago. The event attracted around 50,000 people to experience the sights and sounds of the Tucson Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus.

Now a decade later, the event doubled that initial number, becoming one of the largest book festivals in the country.

John Humenik, one of the festival's co-founders said, "People make this a destination in their spring break plans. Families travel here as part of their vacation to participate in what we all know as a terrific community."

It's the community feel something hundreds of authors have come to love with each visit.

Author Jonathan Eig was on his third trip to the festival, and told Tucson News Now he loves coming face to face with those who read his books.

Eig said, "People are really passionate. The audiences are big for every event. You go to a little panel where you expect to be talking to two or three people and there's fifty or sixty folks there."

The passion, though, could be fleeing those in the younger generations.

Author Gwyn McName explained, "With television and video games and iPads and stuff - kids aren't doing as much reading as they used to."

McName feels as though writing has become a lost art.

It's why her favorite goal of the festival is promoting literacy, especially in children. 

"Getting outside, walking around, and getting to pick out a book can be really exciting for kids," McName said.

Since the festival's inception, it's expanded beyond books, giving kids and families several innovative ways to be hands on in their learning. Organizers said they don't expect the growth to slow down for years to come.

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