Boston Book Festival

November 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

This weekend I woke up in heaven. Saturday morning, I left all three of my boys at home (hubby, frick 1 and frick 2), took the train into Copley, the heart of Boston, and volunteered at the Boston Book Festival! Books! Lots and lots and lots of books! And readers! And writers speaking eloquently about writing and short stories and mysteries and the new age for women and cities and blogs and high level existential stuff and comic books! Heaven!

This year was my first time volunteering at the festival and I must say it was awesome! I was assigned as a line usher for one of the larger lecture halls in the Boston Public Library (Side note: this venue should be on your must-list of places to visit. Murals by John Sargent Singer and a courtyard right out of an Italian villa during the Renaissance. And lots and lots of books!), and spent a lot of time counting the attendees so the room didn’t go over capacity, politely refusing to let people enter when the session had begun and availing myself of the opportunity to actually listen to the speakers! And such eloquent and visionary speakers! As I was at the RABB Lecture Hall, I was able to listen in on “What’s Next for Women” that included writers Anita Hill and Hanna Rosin, former Vermont governor Madeline Kunin, and WBUR’s co-host Meghna Chakrabarti. The majority of the audience were women (no surprise), but it was heartening to see a lot of men present as well. And the beauty of the session, for me as a mother of two sons, was this: women do have more issues to deal with (life-work balance, equal pay, family leave, women’s rights, etc), but whatever problems, changes or suggestions that were discussed were universal in scope. Paternity and maternity leave, equitable pay and pay for performance, education, respect, health care, etc. These affect everyone, men and women. That was important to me as I want to raise two healthy, well-adjusted, well-educated, happy and considerate men that respect and understand equality in every sense.

The next session was titled Paris and New York, but really, the content had to do with similarities and problems faced by big cities regardless of location, presented in a very creative and artistic manner. The speakers were graphic illustrator and comic book maven, Chip Kidd, blogger Vahram Muratyan and Adeline Sire, producer of The World.

What made the Festival interesting to me was that it was about (1) books and (2) there was a lot of diversity in the content that was presented. Readers of all interests would have found something appealing to their tastes. There were insightful topics, eloquent speakers, wonderful weather, beautiful venues, and lots of books … really, what’s not to love! Put it on your calendar for next year – the Boston Book Festival!


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