I’m a bibliophile. A proud one at that. I love reading books, and spending time in the world of books. When it comes to literature festivals, I’ve usually stayed within my city of Bangalore, but when my bookish twin DDS of Bookish Indulgences suggested we visit the biggest literature festival in India, the Jaipur Lit Fest (JLF), I had no hesitation to agree. To do so was one of my bucket list items, and to do so with her for company would be a brilliant experience.
As a visitor to the event, I think the first thing that I noticed was the colors. The multicolored pots decorating the walkways are a delight, and bring a smile for sure. The signage guiding the new visitors is impeccable. And even if one ends up being confused, the volunteers at the event guide us correctly to where we want to go. On the first day, one of the volunteers was even kind enough to lead us to the venue personally. That hospitality is a wonderful thing to experience.
Five venues, each with its own event, and not a single delay. That showed the organization of such a big event was done meticulously. Each event venue had its own book signing tent. That was well thought, because I’ve been to book release events where there wasn’t any order at all, and readers would just break queue. Even when an author’s book signing event was in much demand and seemed like it would push the organizers to breaking point, it was good to see the volunteers stay calm. They restored some sanity to the experience and handled it very well.
JLF is not just about the bookish experience either. While I loved that aspect, I was also impressed by the arts and crafts on exhibit there. Inspiring to see the local artists and craftsmen at the event, and the quality of the work is amazing too. I ended up purchasing bookmarks and bracelets and even notebooks. The bookishtwin too indulged in souvenirs. Both of us are foodies, and felt the variety of food at the event was quite satisfactory. We had our favorites there as well.
It’s not quite easy to put the experience into words. I’m a bibliophile first, and then a reviewer. So meeting authors I have loved reading and been a fan of since years was as overwhelming as it was exciting. It’s an experience I look to replicate soon, along with DDS.