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Bringing the Joy of Reading Directly to the Community at the Miami Book Fair

By Elisha Neubauer

"We read to know we're not alone." This famous quote by William Nicholson, author of the book called Shadowlands, has made the rounds across the world; being plastered on the internet, on bookmarks, and high school English class posters since being uttered from his very lips. But this quote symbolizes more than just a cute phrase being used to entice people into reading. It is the truth.

There is something about reading a book that transports you, that joins you with others; the characters, other readers, the author. While we all see something different in our heads, we can all be joined together in the storyline, as if experiencing the same dream all at once.

Despite the increasing amounts of television channels, cell phones, internet websites, and video games, reading hasn't lost its ground; and that's quite impressive. It shows the dedication of those who support the industry, the love of those who partake in this ancient past time.

It is, in part, thanks to events such as the Miami Book Fair that children and adults alike are constantly reminded of the joy of reading. Now in its thirty-third year, the Miami Book Fair aims to bring the Miami community face to face with the authors who inspire it.

The Fair takes place at the Miami Dade College's Wolfson campus in downtown Miami. "The streets are closed, and up go the colorful tents that line the streets," states Lisa Palley, PR Director for the Miami Book Fair. "These tents house vendors of books, music, and literary ephemera." Over the course of the event, over six hundred authors make appearances, solely to engage with their readers- a rare treat for both the author and the reader. "They read from their new books, answer questions, and sign autographs," Palley says.

Previous years' attendance shows the true magnitude of this unique event, explaining why the event gets bigger and better with each passing year. "Over 250,000 people come from all over (Miami, Florida, the Southeast, Europe, and South America) to attend the Fair over the eight days," Palley affirms. An impressive 10,000 Miami Dade County students attend special programs on the Friday of the Fair weekend, bringing the event right into the heart of the community.

Included in the event are all sorts of fun, quirky, literary-based activities for both adults and children. In the Children's Alley, you can find theater, arts-and-crafts, storytelling and readings by children's book authors; while and a new section just for kids and teens offers presentations over the weekend by renowned graphic novelists and illustrators. The fair includes over two hundred and fifty publishers and booksellers, including antiquities- signed first editions, original manuscripts, and collectable items.

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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