“Book Lovers Celebrate Third Decade of Kentucky Book Fair”

by John Fiske

The annual Kentucky Book Fair (KBF) is celebrating its 33rd year of hosting a celebration of literacy in the Bluegrass. The KBF is one of the longest running annual book fairs in America. Book Fair manager Connie Crow says, “We’ve got this almost down to a science”. The event is in its third decade now.

Founded in 1981 as a non-profit charity, the KBF was created with a specific purpose in mind: to celebrate and promote literacy. The founders wanted to give authors a platform to interact and meet with their readers, and they wanted a celebration of the profession while raising money for the advancement of literacy. The result was a book fair, held once a year in the state’s capitol where authors from around Kentucky could come together, sign books, meet their readers, and ultimately raise money for public schools and libraries. Gigi Phillips, with Nick Clooney, will sign My Kentucky Home: Amazing People & Places of My Kentucky Home. Popular Lexington food blogger Rona Roberts will sign her new book Classic Kentucky Meals: Stories, Ingredients & Recipes from the Traditional Bluegrass Kitchen at this year’s fair.

For over three decades the KBF has brought the state of Kentucky together once a year to meet with authors, sign books, and enjoy the company of other bibliophiles. Open to the public, the KBF hosts over 4,000 people, and the turnout this year is expected to exceed five thousand patrons. The patrons of the fair will enjoy time with over 150 authors from around the country as they showcase their works of literature ranging from poetry, to children’s books, to novels. The KBF “attracts writers of all genres and patrons of all walks of life” to celebrate and honor the profession of writing. Manager Connie Crow says, “90-95 percent of authors at the book fair have a connection to Kentucky in some way.”

With over 150 authors attending the KBF, patrons will have the ability to purchase books and get them signed by authors from across the country. This al so gives the authors the opportunity to interact one-on-one with their audiences, and build relationships with those that appreciate their work. The event is designed to bridge the gap between the author and the reader, and provide a platform to build relationships.

This year’s book fair includes a special focus for young adults. More than 25 young adult authors will be present at the book fair, with some special guest appearances from nationally renowned authors. Madeline Roux, who wrote Allison Hewitt is Trapped will attend. Another popular young adult author, April Genevieve Tucholke will make her way to the KBF to showcase her latest novel, Between the Spark And The Burn.

The proceeds from the fair all go toward funding for schools and public libraries for things such as purchasing literature, and providing reading and literacy services. The Book Fair Corporation is comprised of dozens of volunteers who work together to ensure each year surpasses the preceding year. KBF has donated over $360,000 towards the conservation and advancement of literacy in the Bluegrass.

With this year’s festivities closing in fast, be sure to ma rk your calendars for this year’s book fair. If you would like to volunteer, you can get connected th rough the volunteer link via the official website of the book fair,