Check out Book Fairs: Reading Might Not Be Dead By Beth Greenfield in the New York Times, October 20, 2006. And just in case you don't click, here are the bits I think are relevant:
Ms Greenfield starts by saying: "LESS than half of the adult American population now read books that can be defined as literary, the Census Bureau reported after a 2002 survey. Yet the number of book fairs appears to be growing, so perhaps not everyone is eager to replace hard covers with hard drives after all.
"'There are now 35 statewide celebrations, and that has gone up tremendously in recent years,' said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Mr. Cole arranges for authors to appear at the annual National Book Festival, which drew 100,000 literature lovers to the National Mall in Washington last month. The center also helps organizers put together local book fairs.
"Several are scheduled next month, with the Miami Book Fair International the biggest and best known...
"If it all seems like a highbrow disconnect to those who associate Miami with glitz and glamour, they may find an even bigger surprise in Las Vegas: the fifth annual Vegas Valley Book Festival, held in the shadows of the city’s casino theme parks."
But the one I care about is (natch) the one that mentions MIRA's very own Karen Harper....
"In Wooster, Ohio, the 19th annual Buckeye Book Fair aims at all ages. Participants will include Karen Harper, a best-selling mystery writer and the author of “Hurricane,” and Carl Sferrazza Anthony, who wrote “Nellie Taft: Unconventional First Lady of the Ragtime Era.”
“'State festivals tend to focus, rightly, on local writers,' said Mr. Cole, who is happy for any excitement about reading that these events create. 'In the electronic age, books and reading and authors really need promotion more than ever. The real competition now is not the computer per se, but for a reader’s time.'"
What: Miami Book Fair International, www.miamibookfair.com
When: Nov. 12 to 19.
What: Vegas Valley Book Festival, www.vegasvalleybookfest.org
When: Nov. 3 and 4.
What: Latino Book & Family Festival, www.latinobookfestival.com.
When: Nov. 11 and 12.
What: Connecticut Children’s Book Fair, http://bookfair.uconn.edu
When: Nov. 11 and 12.
What: Buckeye Book Fair www.buckeyebookfair.com
When: Nov. 4.
What: Kentucky Book Fair www.kybookfair.org
When: Nov. 11.