Welcome to the website woven for wordaholics, logolepts, and verbivores. Carnivores eat meat; herbivores eat plants and vegetables; verbivores devour words. If you are heels over head (as well as head over heels) in love with words, tarry here a while to graze or, perhaps, feast on the English language. Ours is the only language in which you drive in a parkway and park in a driveway and your nose can run and your feet can smell.

 

A week from today, 10 am-5 pm, the Union-Tribune and KPBS, both of whom I’ve worked with , will launch our city’s second annual Festival of Books. The setting will be 2875 Dewey Road, Liberty Station in Point Loma. Along with a galaxy of local authors, I’ll be signing my books in Author Alley. I’d love to meet you there.

For Festival details about authors, exhibitors, book stores, panels, children’s activities, music and food please take a tour of the special Festival section in tomorrow’s paper.

Last year’s inaugural Festival was a prodigious success. Almost 10,000 bibliophiles (book lovers) made a joyful noise unto the printed page at the most jubilant event in praise of books ever held here. And no wonder. San Diego is a terrific book town, recently ranked tenth in Amazon’s Top 20 Most Well Read Cities list

You know you’re a dyed-in-the-wool book lover if you were that kid who got excited when your teacher asked the class to read silently for a half hour. At home, if you got sent to your room as punishment, you snickered to yourself because that meant an opportunity to be alone, in peace, with a book in your hands and a smile on your face.

When you were little, books were your best friends in the world — and they still are. You know the characters in novels better than you know real people. You yearn to live in the books you read, and you wish you could go on adventures with the people in them. You dream about attending Hogwarts, and you wish you could leap inside your wardrobe and travel to Narnia. When you grow up, you name your children and pets after fictional characters.

You adore the feel of books and the smell of old books. You love the sound of pages turning. When you’re between books, you feel lost — until you open the next one. You know that reading a new book is like life renewing itself.

You experience distress when you are somewhere without a book, a magazine, a newspaper or at least a scrap of paper to read. The book is always, always, always better than the movie.

The stack of books on your night table resembles the beginning of a Jenga game.

When you are reading a good book, you sometimes forget to eat or sleep. On a “must-finish” night, you fall asleep with a book still in your hands. The bags under your eyes are not from a kinetic social life but from staying up reading into the wee hours.

When you work out, you choose only the machines that let you read while you’re sweating. Most of your vacation packing anxiety comes from deciding which books to bring. You can’t figure out what people who go to the beach without a book do there. You spend the majority of your vacation time reading, and that includes your honeymoon.

Half your moving bill comes from the books that move with you. Your bookcase shelves are starting to bow and creak, but you still want to add more books.  After reading, your second favorite activity is rearranging your library, which you do at least once a month.

The plastic window in your wallet displays your bookstore credit card and library card rather than your driver’s license. You’ve read so many books that people don’t dare buy them for you anymore. Instead, they give you book-related gift cards. One of your rapturous joys is when a friend actually reads a book you have recommended — and loves it!

Bookstores are your favorite places. No matter where you are or what you’re there for, if you come upon a bookstore, you have to go in and buy at least one book. You can’t buy happiness but you can buy books, and that’s pretty much the same thing.

In addition to frequenting bookstores, you attend book festivals. (Hint, hint.)

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I recently received an extraordinary poem, “Art Does (Not) Matter,” created by Natalie Dhus, a rising senior at University City High School. If you read the poem from top to bottom, you absorb one message, but if you then read it bottom to top, you discover the opposite message. You’ll find Natalie’s poem shining out here.