The Book Festival – What Should You Bring?

Book Festival: Four Things to Bring

Attending a book festival seems like a simple enough task. But a little preparation can make your South Dakota Festival of Books experience even more enjoyable. So we called on Festival veteran Thea Miller Ryan, who has been to the South Dakota Festival of Books so many times that she has preparation down to a science.

By Thea Miller Ryan

Editor’s note: Thea is a longtime South Dakota Festival of Books volunteer/fan. In addition to running the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls, she keeps her own literature blog, Road Trips for Readers, where she chronicles her various reading-related adventures.

What should you bring to the South Dakota Festival of Books? Here are four things that really come in handy.

book festival

1. Book bag or backpack. Are you more comfortable carrying books you might buy on your back or your shoulder? Find what works for you. You can be sure it will be hard to walk away without any book purchases.

2. Good walking shoes. In Sioux Falls the venues are fairly close together, but you still have to take a couple treks to get to the different sessions. By the end of the day you might feel like you’re back on a college campus, walking from class to class. Start and end the day right by wearing good shoes. Those Christian Louboutin shoes are amazing, and so are those Chuck Taylors, but will your feet think so after you’ve been schlepping books around all day at the book festival?

3. Money. You’ll need a drink or food somewhere along the way. Plus, you might find yourself lost in the book selling room and have to buy your way out. (That’s a joke – or is it?)

4. An autograph book. If you have a ton of books, or only read e-books now bring an autograph book. Authors don’t mind signing pages of a good old fashioned autograph book. They know people use Kindles, Nooks and other e-media to read. You’ll run out of room quickly if you have them all sign your e-reader.

And, here are some extra ideas for the serious book geeks:
• A fine line Sharpie marker. If the author’s pen runs out of ink, you can play the hero.
• A Moleskine notebook like Hemingway used. You’ll look cool taking notes in it.
• Mints. You might be able to strike up a conversation with an author or another fan by offering them a mint.
• A stack of Post-It notes. Write what you want the author to say in your book on the note, plus spell your name out in clearly printed letters. That saves them time. While you’re waiting in line for signatures, open the book to the title page and put the sticky note on it. Authors appreciate the extra help. Hand them the book, opened the title page.
• More money. Face it: You’re not getting out of there without a stack of books. Just start saving now.

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