Friday, April 28, 2017

Dallas Book Festival bigger and better than ever

Last year I was amazed at the huge change for the better in the annual Dallas Book Festival. Dozens of wonderful authors in multiple genres, thousands of enthusiastic readers, even food trucks. My only gripe – I had to leave early because the Dallas festival was scheduled for the same day as the also-fabulous North Texas Teen Book Festival.

This year, the Dallas Book Festival reigns supreme tomorrow, April 29, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the J. Eric Jonsson Central Library (link) , 1515 Young Street. OK, it does share the date with the Dallas Festival of Ideas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Both events are free. For those who can’t make up their minds which to attend, it’s only a few blocks of walking in between.

I’ll stick with the Book Festival, and I’ve already made a list of which writers/panels I want to hear, which will only require me to clone myself a few times to cover.

Jeff Chang
Headliners listed on the festival site (link), include Jeff Chang (Who We Be), Jeff Guinn (Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat series), Kristen Radtke (Imagine Only Wanting This), modern quilt designer Denyse Schmidt, Wade Smith (Smitty Tackles Bullying), and Andrew Solomon (Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change).

There will be storytelling, panels featuring dozens of local and Texas authors in all genres, musical and theatrical performances, children's activities, meditation, bookbinding, quilt designing, photography, and more – even baby chicks (along with a discussion of urban chicken keeping appropriate to this Year of the Rooster). Some authors may have books for sale and signing.

Denyse Schmidt
Now about getting there. A limited number of places in the library’s parking garage will be reserved for drivers with disabled placard/license plate only. The rest of the parking garage will not be available to the public. Otherwise, parking is available at surface lots on Harwood, Griffin, Wood and Jackson Streets, as well as parking meters in the area. Parking lot costs vary.


Considering the crowds last year – which I anticipate will be even bigger this year – I recommend, and personally plan to arrive via the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system. The Akard DART light rail station is the closest to the library, at about seven blocks. It’s a lovely walk in fine weather, perhaps not so fine if Saturday’s forecast for rain is fulfilled. 

Wade Smith
Besides bringing umbrellas, a couple of DART vehicle add-ons will help you get closer, drier. The free pink buses of the D-Link system are accessible within a block of the Akard Station, and stop within about a block of the library. D-Links stop at all Dallas bus stops, every 15 minutes, from 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Or consider taking light rail to the West End Transfer Station and catching a southbound No. 2 bus to within a block of the library. When you’re ready to leave, a northbound No. 2 will take you from Ervay Street on the library’s east side back to West End. Please note that fares are required to ride both DART and standard buses. A basic all-day local pass good on both buses and DART light rail is $5. See the DART site for information on ticket purchases and discounts.