Yay! It’s August and I’m in Edinburgh. For me, that means one thing: the Book Festival is here!
Every year for the past 20 years, the city has thrown a party for book lovers everywhere to come together and celebrate literature. A tented village has been created especially for the event in Charlotte Square Gardens and, this year, it also extends partly on to the west end of George Street. I have, of course, already visited and can assure you that, although these tents may initially look small, they work like a magic Mary Poppins handbag. They are teeming with thousands of books; enough to offer something for just about every age, every background, every taste and every interest. This is the best news as it attracts more than a thousand authors to visit the city, meaning that there are plenty of book signings and talks to enjoy! In fact, the programme I have sitting beside me at the moment is bursting with over 800 events…
Over the years, the festival has continued to grow in size and it’s now proudly one of the largest of its kind, bringing readers, writers and those who are just simply interested in the literary world together.
There are bars, cafés, ice cream stands (and more!) placed all around the square, too, so you can stay and relax for as long as you want with a book in hand. You can’t really complain about that.
It is amazing to know that around 220,000 visitors take time to go to Edinburgh’s Book Festival. I feel that, with the ever-growing presence of social media, the amount of people who show interest in a novel is in fast decline. Nothing makes me more sad. I love the idea of being able to take time to myself and sit down, relaxed with a book in hand and diving in to an imaginary world. Any problems you have can momentarily be forgotten about, the stress you feel can be relieved and you can simply unwind and escape to enjoy the written work of a creative genius. I believe that only a book has the power to do this. Thus, being surrounded by fellow literature enthusiasts at the festival put me in my element. It’s a way to remind the world that the concept of the book is something that can never be disregarded or forgotten about; it was here before electronic devices and should forever remain an important factor in every person’s life, no matter how advanced society may become.
All in all, if you are interested in literature – or even if you’re not – Edinburgh’s International Book Festival is an event that you should try to attend, and the sooner the better. You never know, it may inspire you to pick up a book, even if it’s for the first time in your life. It may finally allow you to find the genre that suits your taste. It may just give you that well-needed escape from life and its struggles. Just please try it, and thank me later!
The festival is running from the 12th to the 28th of August this year.