Guide to Brooklyn Book Festival

New Yorkers!  (Or any book lovers who can make it to Brooklyn by Sunday, September 16) – if you’re in the area and you love books, you must attend the Brooklyn Book Festival this weekend.  It is my favorite NYC book event – it is full of amazing authors, terrific bookish products, and it is completely FREE.

If you’re planning on attending, here are a few tips and tricks to make this BKBF the happiest one yet!

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Where to go:

The Brooklyn Book Festival is hosted in Brooklyn, of course!  Specifically, it takes place in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall.  Here is a link to a map of the festival.

Before you get there, I highly recommend you look through the list of the Festival Day Events.  There are so many great panels (anywhere from seven to twelve every hour), and you want to make sure you don’t miss an author you’re super interested in.  Don’t recognize the other names on that panel? Don’t worry!   I found some amazing new authors last year through this experience.  Before each panel, a line will form outside of the room.  Get there a few minutes early to make sure you’ll get in.  If your panel is outside, get there a bit early to snag a chair or a prime piece of grass to sit on!

Make sure you save yourself some time to explore the marketplace as well.  It will be stocked with indie publishers, literary goods, and more!

What to bring:

Here is a list of things I would highly suggest throwing in your bag the morning of the festival:

  • Water – it was hard to pull myself away from all of the great programming last year, but when I did, it was because I’d hit a point of dehydration.  Don’t let that be you!  And OMG check out this gem.
  • Snacks – there are food trucks and restaurants surrounding the festival, but I know I get hungry if I go more than a few minutes without food.  So I always have a snack (or two) with me.  My current snacking obsession: Rx Bars in Chocolate Sea Salt.
  • Money – see the food trucks mentioned above!  And also the many cool indie booksellers and literary companies.  You know you’ve always wanted that Obvious State mug…  And if you plan on shopping, maybe an extra tote bag or two.
  • Books you’d like authors to sign – after every panel, there will be a signing table where you’ll be able to get your own copy signed.  Don’t own a copy of the book? Each panel location is staffed by a local bookseller, so you can pick one up.
  • A portable phone charger – depending on how long you’re going to be there, you’ll need one of these.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen – I’m not sure what the weather will be come Sunday, but last year it was quite hot and there were some outdoor panels that took place completely in the sun.  Be prepared.
  • A friend or two or three – this is absolutely not necessary, you can definitely enjoy this festival alone, but last year I brought two friends (one more bookish than the other) and they both had a ball.

Are you planning on attending BKBF this year? Hope to see you there!

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