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An early glimpse of L.A. Times Festival of Books at USC

The L.A. Times Festival of Books is now underway at the USC campus. Here's what the booths and tents looked like Saturday morning as crowds were starting to trickle in. Check out the Festival of Books website for a list of authors who will be appearing, directions, parking, etc.


Looking over part of the Festival of Books with the Von KleinSmid Center library in the distance.

USC2Booths are set up before the festival begins.

USC3Early arrivals take photos with the university's Tommy Trojan statue.

USC4The USC stage, opposite Tommy Trojan, before authors and guests arrive.

Shady seats won't stay empty for long.

Festival booths and trees along Trousdale Parkway at USC.

-- Carolyn Kellog

Photo credit: Carolyn Kellog

Comments () | Archives (7)

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What is missing is any 'counter' to a very heavy Marxist-leftist world view. There must be at least 10 - 15 tables with strong to hard line as well as 'apparatchiks' wandering through the crowd with their pamphlets.

Rather a sorry presentation as their were no major book sellers present nor any solid research, music, art or historical books to peruse. Mostly small print houses. It almost reminded me of a 'clean' Renaissance Fair (i.e. minimal smell) or the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

I hope the Festival makes it a point of expanding their invitees because there was little there on Childs Way or Trousdale - the chuldren section was way over almost to Figueroa in front of Bernkrant also that was where the food section was.

The left squatted right in front of Doheny along with every belief system aside from Christianity 'en flagrante'.

USC needs to learn a thing or two about hospitality. For newcomers to the campus, today (Saturday) was very difficult. There were no posted signs directing attendees from the parking structures to the festival. Finding your way back to PB (where I was directed to park) was even worse... that structure wasn't listed on the provided map. It seemed that everything was hard to find today, including the feeling of joy that I am used to having at my favorite event of the year. I'm hoping that they figure things out by tomorrow. If not, I won't be back again if USC hosts the festival next year.

I miss my Festival of Books at UCLA!!! I have been to the Festival of Books for the past 6 years. This year the experience is completely different. Ok, if this event is to promote wider exposure of literacy, LA Times achieved their goal. I admit it did appear there were a lot more people who may be less literate wondering around the booth and the campus. However, if the decision to move to USC is to increase profit, LA Times screwed it up royally. The demographic of patrons are so different between USC and UCLA. Unfortunately, I do not see myself as part of the USC demographic. It is just not an environment I can enjoy myself at this point of my life.
Besides the feel of the whole event is different this year, there are so many other things about the USC location are wrong. First of all, most of the volunteers do not know the campus well and were not helpful on locations of booths, restrooms, or places to eat. Also there were very few choices of place to eat comparing to UCLA. I really wanted some kettle popcorns this year. There were no mainstream book sellers and some of my favorite exhibits were also not present at USC. For the venders that were there, they brought very few books. I thought maybe there’ll something at the campus bookstore, but the USC campus bookstore pales compares to the UCLA bookstore. We also used to love hanging out on the lawn area to enjoy our lunch or snacks, but the USC campus is so dirty that we weren’t able to do that.
The USC is surrounded by busy boulevards and a major jammed pack freeway. The pollution is so bad that people are having allergy attacks and coughing all over the place. It is just not a place that seems to mix well with literature and books. Come to think of it, it is funny the busiest booth is the one that sells Japanese trinkets. Lastly, it took a humongous effort to get to USC. I forgot what the downtown freeway traffic was like and it didn’t help that USC did not have enough signs for direction. The off-ramp was so backed up that I spend 25 minutes trying to get off the freeway. Perhaps, Festival of Books at USC promoted literacy exposure to more people that have fewer opportunities. But on the book purchasing or the profit front, it didn’t happen. It’ll take a few years before the majority of this demographic feel books are worth buying. Sad to say this is it for us; we’ll miss our favorite annual event….Festival of Books at UCLA.

How can you tell that a person may be less literate?

You are right; I shouldn’t have said that…..my emotion is messing with my judgment and bigotry. I am so pissed off at LA Times.

Yeah 'parking and driving' to UCLA is easier? You can;t park on any city street within a full mile of the UCLA campus as to traffic there is no alternative to the 405 but somehow t2k states that's not up for discussion.

I shall agree about the lack of books offered for sale but the snide wisecrack about the physical appearence of the campus is the westside limouisne liberal way of saying 'it' in 'that' part of town!'

If more were able to attend UCLA it would have stayed there - it didn't. USC had better learn how to lay the effort out better next year but in time I assume they shall in the meantime next time the freeway is packed for you westside limousine liberal take one of the parallel west-east arteries i.e. Rodeo, Exposition, Adams, Pico, Washington, Olympic - try finding any alternative to the 405 boyo - there aren't any -

As a USC student, I feel very fortunate that the Festival of Books was able to come to my campus, and I really enjoyed it. Of course, I have no way to get to UCLA easily, so I never went to the Festival there and have nothing to compare it to. I know that the complaints about lack of food options at USC are valid ones, and I have to believe that complaints about parking are, as well.
But USC has a compact, flat campus which is great for walking to events, and I think it's great that small independent booksellers are invited. I feel like a lot of complaints are that USC is in a bad, "less-literate" area than UCLA is, but I don't see what that should have to do with the festival itself. I didn't hear of any crimes during the festival, and my friends & family and I had a great time and bought tons of books.


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