The Tucson Festival of Books


Nora Thompson, Cougart Editor

For the last five years Tucson has been home to the third largest book festival in the United States and the only one that is completely non profit. This year’s festival had 100’s of authors and dozens of events. It seemed like all of Tucson was there.

People of all ages came to the festival to meet authors, like minded people or friends. All along the U of A mall, companies, clubs and associations advertised their services and communities. Many local businesses were there handing out swag (I have SO many pencils now) with their labels on it.

There was something for every person at TFOB like shows, speakers and tours to take. There was a mirror lab tour where the UofA observatory shows you the mirror used in their telescope. Or David Maranis and John Nichols had a panel on politics, which, our councilman Ron Barber moderated. (It was a ticketed event so I couldn’t get in, but my mom told me it was interesting and entertaining.) Or you could sit back and watch circus performers do incredible stunts or twist their bodies in weird ways.

The real reason though that many people went to the TFOB was all of the authors. Essentially every genre of author was there: teen, fiction, non-fiction locally published, etc. festival goers carried around bags filled with autographed books. The authors provided wonderful insight into the words that they wrote, they also gave their readers a good idea of the writing process. I met a guy who was an aspiring writer, he told me that The Festival of Books was a good place to make some real-world connections and get tips on his writing. Every single person that went was able to find at least one thing they could enjoy. 

I would completely recommend that every single person attend the Festival Of Books at least once while they’re in Tucson.