My favorite festival is fast approaching: the Twin Cities Book Festival (TCBF), on October 11 at the Progress Center on the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. It’s everything I love about my town and about books, and thanks to the hard work of its host Rain Taxi, the festival is in its 14th year. The extremely vibrant literary community of the Twin Cities comes together annually at this FREE all-day festival. All of our great local publishers are there with super deals on their books: Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, Milkweed Editions, Minnesota Historical Society Press, Nodin Press, Red Dragonfly Press, and many more. Three local booksellers handle sales for official events: Common Good BooksMagers & Quinn, and Red Balloon Bookshop. And the day includes innumerable events and readings featuring authors from every genre. See the full schedule!

The children’s area is superb—a holy grail, of sorts, for parents: fun, educational, and free! My kids love it. In the past they’ve made tiny books, library card holders, badges, heard live music, played games, had their faces painted, and scored many, many books and lollipops. Pictured below is my son, in 2011, holding a tarantula.

Laurie Hertzel/Minneapolis Star Tribune

Laurie Hertzel/Minneapolis Star Tribune

While I can’t promise there will be tarantulas this year, there will be face painting, music, and crafts, and kids can meet Bad Kitty or a Star Wars character, among many other exciting things. There will be so much for kids, in fact, they’ve divided tents by age: Teen Tent, Middle Grade Headquarters, and the Children’s Pavilion.

For adults, there are book- and author-related events galore, including a great used book sale. You will walk away with at least an armload of books, and you will discover great authors you may not have known about.

Bookmobile is a proud sponsor of TCBF. We have worked with Rain Taxi for a long time, printing many editions of their chapbook series, and handling the bookstore distribution for their flagship publication, Rain Taxi Review of Books, through our Itasca Books division. I’ll be exhibiting at the festival this year, not selling books, but showing off our printing—please stop by to say hello and see our beautiful work firsthand!