“There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book”—Patti Smith
I love books and I love living in a region that enhances that connection. We are blessed with an abundance of writers, bookstores, publishers, and readers throughout the Bay Area. Thus, it was a delight to partake of the 50,000 titles being given away at the central pavilion during last weekend’s Book Fest. I quickly amassed a heavy stack, despite arriving at the festival with a firm resolve “not to bring home any more books” for my already over-flowing shelves. I frequently read non-fiction, and just couldn’t leave the festival racks without finding history and science books that I could not put down, like a child left to enjoy myself in a free-of-cost candy store.
The temple of books, called LACUNA, was very much in the style of Burning Man, and like BM, celebrated the concept of a gift-economy. These books were on display to find new homes. I saw few people who could resist grabbing at least one book that caught their imagination, however fleetingly. They were all free, no check-out involved. The Berkeley plaza became a giant book rescue center. For a book lover, that was flat-out FUN.