Southern Festival Of Books: A Literary Lineup Worth Seeing

File this under “Things You Probably Didn’t Remember Were Happening This Weekend, But Definitely Should Have.” The 21-year-old Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word kicks off 2009’s celebration today with over 200 authors and 20,000 attendees from around the nation gathering in Nashville for a weekend of panel discussions, readings and book signings.

While we’re guilty of being distracted by, oh, the other 300 things happening this weekend (Next Big Nashville, Oktoberfest/Germantown Street Festival, the Titans game and Free Symphony Day) (just to name a few), the Southern Festival of Books has laid claim to downtown for the next three days, and Nashvillians should take note.

The Southern Festival of Books is free and open to everyone, and arriving early is the only ticket you’ll need to the hundreds of panels, readings and book signings. First come, first served! The sessions take place in the Legislative Plaza and the State Capitol building, and the Cafe Music Stage, Children’s Stage and Food & Cooking Stage events are located at War Memorial Plaza. Not limited to just literary events, you’ll also find film screenings, live music (wouldn’t be Nashville without it!) and cooking demonstrations on the schedule.

Browse the list of appearing authors to see if anything piques your interest (we’re pretty excited about seeing Buzz Aldrin, ourselves), and take some time this weekend to celebrate literature, literacy, and landing on the moon.