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LA Times Book Fest Day 1: Shorter Lines + More Food = More Fun

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After a packed day of panels and Organic To Go food, we're looking forward to Sunday's LA Times Book Festival offerings. Here's why:

Food Situation: Bountiful. If there weren't so many book booths and authors running about, we'd think this was a cooking festival. Your food choices are endless and several food courts are setup all over campus so you'll never have to utter the painful festival sentence:"Where is the food?" It's everywhere!

Line Situation: While the most poplular panels had ungodly lines (Ray Bradbury's signing and Mitch Albom's discussion with Frank McCourt had lines snaking around and around, with rather crabby line-waiters fanning themselves with recently purchased books), most of those with tickets said the lines moved quickly & those without tickets in stand-by seemed to get in easily. The key to the "I don't have tickets but I'll wait in the stand-by line" approach? Be the first in the stand-by line. Bonus: Every panel leaves an entire front row open to media that never gets full, so stand-by attendees often get escorted right to the front. If chancing it freaks you out, you can get tickets onsite. Although that line was quite long...

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Book Deals: While there were no doubt many author/agent/publisher book deals closed at the festival and at the bars and pool decks of the Westwood area hotels, there were also book deals for the book lover in all of us. Every major publisher & LA bookstsore has a booth. The clearance & discount bins yielded just-published hardocover books for $6 - 10 dollars. Several booths even had an "All Books $5" sale and a quick glance revealed that most of the books were published in the past 12 months - a steal! If you love books & love a bargain, get thee to the festival today and stock up!

Secret Bathroom Find: If you find yourself near the Korn Convocation/Royce Hall/Rolfe Hall area and need to get to a bathroom quickly, slip into Rolfe Hall. Instead of walking to the first floor bathrooms at the entrance (where the line never ends), make your way to the second floor, where there are a few more stalls open and nary a festival goer in sight.

Favorite Panel of the Day: First Novels with Marisha Pessl, Antoine Wilson, Joshua Ferris & Alice Greenway. Very funny, very honest, very inspiring.

Today promises to be gorgeous and many much-anticipated author panels start in just a few minutes. What are you waiting for?