It’s been 19 years! 19 years and not once did I ever visit the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! I had been missing some of the most interesting conversations on literature, writing, and publishing and on topics that covered pretty much every subject that books can communicate.
I had signed up to three conferences: Sports Writing, Inside Hollywood, and Living and Writing Los Angeles. The conversations were extremely interesting, especially since they were had by a group of successful writers. And to think that tickets for these talks were only $1.00 each!
The area of the festival I enjoyed the most was the children’s section. I got to take pictures with a few animation mascots, such as Papa Smurf and Dave the minion (the little yellow creature from the film “Despicable Me”). Somewhere along my journey, I had an urge to buy a copy of Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree”, but had no luck finding one. It has remained one of my favorite stories since childhood.
After about 5 hours of walking and freeloading off food samples, posters, stickers and even free books, I was tired; it was time to go home. As I walked back to my car across the grass and trees, I meditated on how much books have given us over the years. Trees have given us books (amongst other things), which in turn have given us so much knowledge and opportunities to communicate ideas across nations and throughout generations. It was at that moment that Silverstein's narrative seemed to blow through the wind: “Come boy, sit down”, said the tree, “sit down and rest.” And the boy did. And the tree was happy…the end.