You could be the type who would have failed high school English had it not been for one Mr. Cliff's notes. You could be a fair-weather reader who opts to read only when there’s nothing else to do (and your iPhone is dead). Or, you could be the type who lives for books – eats, breathes and even writes them. No matter. Atlanta's annual AJC Decatur Book Festival is for readers of all levels – or anyone who enjoys walking around with a corn dog.
Every year when the fest descends upon the quaint town of Decatur (just seven miles from Midtown) over Labor Day weekend, the streets shut down and transform into a literary paradise sprawling with readers, writers and books. Booths line the streets throughout downtown Decatur and peddle a host of wares.
AJC Decatur Book Festival is a family-friendly affair — Photo courtesy of AJC Decatur Book Festival
You’ll find literary magazines, first-time authors selling their self-published tomes, small indie presses, large national presses, artisan jewelry and ample food trucks. If Popsicles and tacos aren’t exactly your style, you’re also smack-dab in the center of one of the most happenin’ food spots in the city, with multiple eateries within walking distance.
Though if you’re going to sit down and cool off in a restaurant, take a good look at the schedule first and make sure you’re not missing a reading from someone like Natasha Trethewey (you know, Poet Laureate of the United States), Pat Conroy or Joyce Carol Oates, all scheduled for the 2014 book fest. Circle those guys before you make a game plan, pick a type of book you like and tailor your experience around one of the festival’s suggested “tracks” like the Environmental Track, the Healthy & Local Track, the Civil War Track, the Pat Conroy Track and the LGBT Track.
Take some time to explore downtown Decatur and its incredible array of restaurants, like Brick Store Pub — Photo courtesy of AJC Decatur Book Festival
Besides a ton of author readings, a writers' conference, lectures and book signings, you can get your fill of other aesthetically enriching activities over the weekend. You can view art, enjoy kid-centric activities (like a kids’ poetry slam and readings from children’s book authors), see live cooking demos, catch theatre productions and dance to live music.
For more information, visit DecaturBookFestival.com.