Events, Readers

How to Build Your Best Portland Book Festival 2020

This is my sixth year at Literary Arts, and as director of the Portland Book Festival, presented by Bank of America. One of the most consistent “complaints” I hear from Festival attendees is that you wish they could go to more events in a day, you wish you didn’t have to choose between events so that you could experience truly everything the festival has to offer.

Well, in a year with not much of it, we have some good news.

One of the advantages of the virtual Festival this year is that you can go to every single Portland Book Festival event. In fact, most events will be available to watch on replay, so you can attend at your own pace. (Though I do recommend catching as many events live as you can. It’s really fun to be able to interact with other attendees in the chat box, and have the chance to ask questions.) Undeniably, there’s a lot we lose in not being able to gather in person, but this is one small—actually, it’s pretty big—advantage to the total collapse of time and space that has been 2020.

So how do you navigate two and a half weeks and over fifty events? I have some ideas for you.

The first thing I would say is the same thing I tell people in person: Be adventurous. Be open to discovering something new. This year, all (except three; book purchases are required for our events with Jess Walter, Margaret Atwood, and Isabel Wilkerson) events are completely FREE to attend, and you don’t even have to leave your home to participate (or, honestly wear “real” “pants”), so the risks are very low. No lines! No rain! No parking! So why not try some poetry? Or YA literature? Try some short stories! Take a bite of out of a cookbook. Take the opportunity to check out a new writer you might not be as familiar with.

The virtual Festival will make it easier than ever enjoy the opportunity for discovery that really, to me, makes the Festival magical. Don’t forget to share with #PDXBookFest.

Check out the full schedule here. Each event page has a convenient RSVP, as well as easy buttons to add to your calendar.

To help you navigate the festival, we’ve created some highlight collections based on genre and subject. Check them out:

And you can use tags to easily sort for your favorite genre. Click below to see all:

So dig in and start building your very own personal perfect Portland Book Festival! There’s something for everyone at this year’s event.

We’re excited to share the first virtual Portland Book Festival with you. Things will kick off at noon on Thursday, November 5, and run through Saturday, November 21. Head to PDXBookFest.org to register, where you can tune into the livestream throughout the Festival and access the video library of recordings. We’ll see you there!

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