LA Times Festival of Books @ USC

I was reminded this morning that the annual Los Angeles Times/USC Festival of Books (BookFest) is this weekend!  “The largest and most prestigious book festival in the country.”

It was last century when I last attended BookFest and I dunno if I’m gonna check out the books & their related authors this year either.  However, I do know most of the reasons I haven’t returned in years:

Uninspired presentation and setup.  Poor food availability on site. Maybe there was food but it wasn’t easily found.  And location, location, location! At its UCLA location it was decentralized out near the far left boundary of Los Angeles. I don’t wanna put in that much travel time. Can you imagine how some of those who came from outside LA County must’ve felt!

I can’t tell you all the reasons, or just the exact reasons, why the book people and the LA Times decided they no longer wanted to return to UCLA.  A couple of years ago BookFest made the switch to USC. Still, I  haven’t returned but I have to assume it’s better than when UCLA hosted it if for only one reason: location, location, location!

The closer, centralized location of USC, just minutes from downtown LA and numerous freeways, is enough to shave at least an hour off my roundtrip travel time.  And, eventually get me to finally make a return visit to the BookFest, soon if not this year.  It’s funny, because just yesterday a bookseller friend of mine was saying how they usually went to the BookFest  at UCLA but found it less appealing as each year turned and don’t plan to attend.

But I do hope you go, especially if you’ve never been, and because in this internet & self-publishing age competition to sell books is as difficult as ever.  It’s easier than ever to publish books, but harder than ever to sell them. Authors need to find book buyers at least as much as finding book readers.  I’m not sure where on campus the event will be, but I’m assuming it will be based around the main library – Doheny Library – where plenty of open space thrives. 



Hope the food situation for the event has improved since the UCLA days.  If not, on campus choices on the weekend are probably gonna be limited.  In that case, coffee, snacks, pre-packaged sandwiches, are most of your options.  My preference is this fresh fruit cup at Trojan Grounds.




There should be plenty of books covering subjects a-z, and authors flying in from exotic international places in this world. Or, at least from throughout the San Gabriel Valley. So, maybe you’ll want to check out the Von Kleinsmid Center for International & Public Affairs.




Traveling to your destination is one thing. Another is finding parking once you’ve arrived, at a good price!  There better be special event parking with special discounted rates.  Otherwise you’ll have to settle for the meters surrounding the campus.  But, I definitely would expect BookFest participants/authors to have VIP style low-cost parking!  Maybe even like the car below parked directly on campus! Maybe not?



If indeed the BookFest is located around Doheny Library then be sure to visit my favorite campus fountain: the Prentiss Memorial Fountain.   You’ll run into it if you walk straight out from the main entrance of the library.




If in addition to books you’re into the performing arts, such as film & theater, then check out the USC School of Cinematic Arts. USC’s “film school” is known far & wide.




I’ve seen these kinda trees before – even here in Pasadena, I believe.  However, I’m not much into tree-hugging or flower-sniffing so I can’t tell y’all what’s the name of this interesting tree.  But, y’all, there must be someone out there in the blogosphere who can lettuce know its name!




If you do go to BookFest, whatever you do – whether you buy a book or stroke an author, or not – if nuttin’ else visit Tommy Trojan & pose for a photo with him.  Like these UCLA & Notre Dame students did below…



Gotta Go Again, Eventually! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Pasadena Greetings


17 responses to “LA Times Festival of Books @ USC

  1. The Festival of Books was such a blast. It was my first time attending. Very hot weekend for it. And lots of walking around. A few people complained it wasn’t at UCLA, but I think you’re going to get that from either location.

  2. I don’t mind crowds of people so much as I hate waiting, and the two usually go together. This was a great primer, though. And that is a giant ficus of some sort.

  3. I went to the Book Fest once, back in the UCLA days. I’d hoped to check out the new locale, but I haven’t. I too dislike crowds. Nice pics. The tree made me think of a banyan tree.

    • You went once? Why haven’t you returned, SC??
      Looking at video of this years event on the news, I can tell you it looked more appealing than when I remember!

  4. I have always wanted to go, but haven’t made it yet. I love getting signed copies of books by favorite authors, so I’m not sure why I’ve never yet been. Very, very nice pictures of “that other university.” I, too, am partial to UCLA, but like the idea of the ease of getting to USC. Petrea and Margaret took the Goldline from our area, to a shuttle bus at Union Station. Yay – finally a way to get there without a car. I’m in for next year!

  5. I think Barbara’s right about the Moreton Bay Fig. And everything’s better when tasty food is on hand, so I hope they mend that. Enjoy your next bowl, puppy dog.

  6. I’ve always wanted to go to the festival but I’ve never been . . . and I don’t think it’ll work out this weekend with a newborn in tow. Bummer. Next year.

  7. I think that’s a Moreton Bay Fig Tree. I’ve never been to the Festival of Books. Friends have suggested it, and I’ve declined. I love books, but I don’t like crowds, and I just imagine teeming masses of hungry bibliophiles and their children.

    I have strong ties to UCLA, but you’ve shown a handsome face of that other university.

    • BF, I too think it’s a Moreton Bay tree, but I need to double check since I’ve seen other MB’s and I just thought this was little off.
      Next time I go to BookFest, whenever that is, I hope to bring you back a more positive report than this to say, “It’s Ok, to ck it out!”