Pre-pandemic vibe as thousands turn out for Festival of Books at USC

The nation’s largest literary and cultural festival returned to USC’s University Park campus on Saturday with a fun party for bookworms, authors and just about everyone.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books opened with a serenade from the USC Trojan Marching Band and words of welcome from the leaders of the event’s co-sponsors.

“We often think of reading as a solitary activity,” said USC President Carol L. Folt, “but what I love about it is: it’s a community of readers, storytellers, visionaries who help us learn and change, and it’s perfect for all of us to celebrate together.

USC President Carol L. Folt tours one of the hundreds of booths at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on Saturday. (Photo USC)

Chris Argentieri, president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Times, joined Folt in expressing his love for literature.

“I think it’s important to remember that books and stories bring us together as they do today, and sharing our stories encourages creativity, heals empathy and enriches our lives immeasurably,” said Argentieri.

The opening ceremony also featured a reading by Luis J. Rodriguez of his “Love Poem in Los Angeles”, a piece of love/hate (but more love than hate) prose. On Friday night, Rodriguez received a lifetime achievement award at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, the traditional kickoff to the weekend festival.

Book Festival: dozens of authors, and much more

The festival includes dozens of author booths and panel discussions, as well as performing arts stages, health screenings from USC’s Keck Medicine, and civic engagement offerings. The festival continues on Sunday; admission is free, although the interior conversation panels require tickets which can be obtained online; a limited number of tickets will be available at the festival.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is in its 27th year. It moved to USC University Park Campus in Westwood in 2011, but the last two festivals were held online due to the pandemic.

Los Angeles Times Book Festival 2022: A youngster brushes the teeth of a giant model

Samantha Orellana, 8, tries her hand at brushing her teeth during the festival. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Los Angeles Times Book Festival: Luis J. Rodriguez

Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez reads one of his poems during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC on Saturday. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

2022 Los Angeles Times Book Festival at USC: people picking up brochures

Visitors pick up informational pamphlets from the Keck Medicine of USC booth. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: Finding Your Way

On Saturday, two of the thousands of attendees gather around the 2022 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

More stories on: Books, Carol L. Folt, Events, 2022 Book Festival, Literature

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