The Portland Book Festival. An annual gathering of authors, publishers, readers and everything in between! Main street in Downtown Portland housed the festivities, the whole block was roped off to traffic allowing festival goers to peruse between buildings like Arlene Shnitzer Hall and the Portland Art Museum. The festival has been happening since 2005 and offers an opportunity to support local PNW businesses, writers, and vendors. There were author interviews and readings galore! This year, there were two featured authors: Selma Blaire and Taylor Jenkins Reid along with over 70 other authors! There were many opportunities to attend their specific events. If you were an extremely avid and efficient festival goer, you could probably hit over fifteen of these pop-up readings, which would be quite impressive.
The opportunities for expanding your literary experiences were endless. No matter what genre intrigues you, they have you covered: fantasy, heart-wrenching memoirs, graphic novels, poetry, prose, fiction, children’s books… the list goes on. There were so many book vendors that the event required five separate buildings to host them all. I was surprised (retrospectively I shouldn’t have been), at what a massive array of options there were for kids! There were so many readings and enactments of kid’s favorite books – songs and funny voices aplenty. I was able to snag a bilingual book for my friend’s baby and I can’t wait to see her face when she lays her little eyes on that colorful cover.
In a seemingly limitless day, we spent the entire day perusing the multiple book vendors, the art museum, and mismanaging our time to ensure that we didn’t hit any of the pop-up readings, but it’s a testament to the event – we didn’t feel like we missed out. We still had loads to do and enjoyed every second of it.
If you have the opportunity, next year hit the Portland Book Festival!