Baltimore BookFest

I moved to Baltimore about a little over a month ago to work in nonprofits and what an adventure it has been! So new city, new adventures and a new blog. I am really loving Baltimore so far. And part of that is because of……..
Book Festivals!
As a bookish introvert, a three-day book festival was heaven. The festival was in the inner harbor, so it was along the water, which made it even better. There was tent after tent, each filled with treasures. Some were filled with books, others book related crafts, food, music, and speakers. I went to some tents filled with books so often, the people working there started to recognize me. I was filled with bliss, coming home with my arms and bags filled with books.
I was in heaven.
Other than finding wonderful books and being in a fun environment, one of my favorite things about the festival was the speakers. They had speakers speaking on every topic available. The highlight for me was getting to hear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speak (and getting my book autographed). For those who don’t know, Chimanda is a novelist famous for giving TedTalks such as “We Should All Be Feminist.” I have yet to read all her novels, but the ones I have are wonderful and I love her TedTalks.
Chimamanda was intelligent and funny as she was asked questions by both the audience and the moderator. She told stories and ideas that really resonated with me, such as “I think today there are women who are interested in history and politics and high heels.”
But something that touched me was the people who came to listen to Chimamanda. Ten minutes before she came out, the tent was packed, despite the sweltering heat. And so many types of people! There was white, black, Hispanic, women, men, young, old. There was a young Hispanic woman in tears over the impact that Chimamanda’s novels-often dealing with things like race- have had on her life. There was a young Feminist teen shaking over getting to talk to her favorite author. There was a group of old women willing to sit in the heat for I am guessing at least an hour to make sure they got good seats.
This is what I love about books. Books bring people together, it brings people together to share ideas, to bond over favorite books and characters. Books are our power, help shape us and our ideas. Books assure us that we are not alone. To quote Laura Bush: “The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision.”
This is what I saw on a hot Sunday afternoon. I saw people from different walks of life, with different stories and experiences, come together because we have something in common: we were all were impacted by the same author, the same stories.
How magical is that?
Books do that. Books create magic. Books bring people together.

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