All Lit Up

By Jason Schwartz | Boston Magazine |

AROUND HERE, there’s no party quite like a book party. Two years ago the first Boston Book Festival drew about 12,000 lit-heads to Copley Square to interact with their favorite authors. At last year’s event, 25,000 fans packed the area with a density and frenzy matched only by the crowd that would later turn out for the Bruins parade. (Okay, that was a little different, but seriously, you don’t want to get between a Bill Bryson devotee and his reading.)

The festival, cosponsored by Boston magazine, is back for year three on October 15, and its founder and executive director, Deborah Porter, says she’s hoping for 30,000 to 35,000 literary revelers this time around. And why not? The star-studded lineup of 111 presenters includes local favorites like Chuck Hogan, Andre Dubus III, and Drew Gilpin Faust, as well as such bused-in luminaries as Jennifer Egan, Chuck Klosterman, and Walter Isaacson. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

“My fantasy is that the festival grows into an arts or humanities festival and lasts 10 days, and every single neighborhood in the city gets involved,” Porter says. Now that would be a party.  

Illustration by Michael Cho