Iowa City celebrates books with a weekend of literature - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City celebrates books with a weekend of literature

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The 5th annual Iowa City Book Festival is taking place with events all over the downtown Iowa City area. The four-day festival is a celebration of reading, writing, and books.
Saturday, vendors lined up throughout the pedestrian mall to sell books and interact with the public. According to one independent publisher, the festival is a way for him to boost his sales and also allows him to meet aspiring writers.
"You meet a lot of people that want to be writers in Iowa City," said Steve Semken, owner and publisher of the Ice Cube Press. "So it's really fun to hear and see the way they interact with books that are about where they live."
Semken also said that he thinks the event is a great way to encourage reading and writing in Iowa City.
"I can't think of how many times I have people come up to me and say they don't read anymore," Semken said. "I tell them that they're missing out on so much. I read to learn. I read to learn about myself. I read to learn about others. I read to learn what's possible."
According to Marie Hafner, a freshman at the University of Iowa, she stopped by the fair to support local writers and to add to her book collection while at college.
"There's some local people here that produce their own stuff, so that's really cool," Hafner said. "I didn't get to bring a lot of my books from home, but I love reading."
The event is sponsored by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature and includes activities like public readings, discussion panels, and the book fair.
Iowa City is one of only six cities of literature in the world, which means the city has met several designated criteria points. These requirements include a city's quality and quantity of publishing activity, the quality of literature-related education in the area, and more.
The other five literature cities are located in Scotland, Australia, Ireland, Iceland, and England.
The last day of the festival, Sunday, October 13th, will feature a dinner at the Bluebird Diner, public readings throughout the city, and a performance of scenes from the Nutcracker.
A list of events can be found at
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