LOS ANGELES, May 4, 2007 - The Los Angeles Times announced today that in its 12th straight year the Festival of Books drew between 130,000 and 140,000 people and featured the largest number of writers, panel discussions, exhibitors, and activities in its history. Held on the beautiful UCLA campus on Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, April 29th, the event drew higher than expected attendance and drove record book sales for sponsors.
"It was inspiring, moving and exhilarating to celebrate reading and writing with over 130,000 of our friends and neighbors at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books," said Publisher David D. Hiller.
The Festival brought together its largest and most eclectic gathering of literary stars thus far, including Dr. Phil McGraw, Tim Gunn, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julie Andrews Edwards, Walter Mosley, Arianna Huffington, Ellen Burstyn, T.C. Boyle, Mary Higgins Clark, Gore Vidal, and Ray Bradbury. 463 authors participated in book readings and signings and made appearances on one of the 100 discussion panels. latimes.com was also an integral online participant in the 2007 event, hosting web chats with several celebrity authors who took live questions from the public throughout the weekend.
"Target understands how important it is to begin fostering the love of reading in children at a very early age, which is why we were thrilled to be a part of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books for a 12th year," said Laysha Ward, vice president, community relations, Target. "It was exciting to see the number of families who continue to come out year after year celebrate the joy of books in a fun and recreational way.""We were thrilled with our participation in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this year. The weather was gorgeous, people drove from miles away to attend the Festival, and our stage, signing tents and sales booth were packed both Saturday and Sunday," said Jan Lindstrom Valerio, Barnes & Noble Regional Community Relations Manager. "In addition to selling books for authors appearing on our stage, we featured Barnes & Noble and L.A. Times bestsellers, favorite local authors and regional titles and nominees and winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. Many customers commented on how much they loved the Festival this year."
A total of 481 sponsor and exhibitor booths representing 313 companies lined the central grounds at UCLA, the largest layout of publishers and booksellers to date. Sponsors included Target, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Borders Bookstores, Ticketmaster, Ghirardelli, Time Warner Cable, HBO Films, C-SPAN, Travel Alberta, Chronicle Books, Geffen Playhouse, Jiffy Lube and Toyota's "Highway to the Future: Mobile Hybrid Experience." In addition, six stages presented a wide variety of entertainment options, including musical performances, poetry readings and cooking demonstrations from star chefs. Appearances by popular children's characters ensured the event would create lasting memories for the entire family.
"As booksellers, Borders feels it is an honor and privilege to 'bring writers to readers' and nowhere was this more effective than at the Festival where we hosted 64 incredible and diversely appealing authors connecting them with readers in a meaningful and purposeful way during the two-day event," said Beryl Needham, Director of National Events and Field Marketing. "As big as the Festival is, it truly is about community. Our customers and authors are 'Friends of Borders' and the idea of connecting them together made this a real celebration of books and reading."
"It was an honor for Toyota to be part of an event aimed at inspiring and opening minds," said Cindy Knight, Marketing Communications for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Sharing that goal, Toyota's interactive mobile museum, dedicated to educating people on hybrid technology and how they can make a difference in the environment, was a perfect addition to the weekend's activities."
About the Los Angeles TimesThe Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of nearly 2.2 million and about 3.3 million on Sunday. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates - including latimes.com, TheEnvelope.com, Times Community Newspapers, Recycler Classifieds, Hoy, and California Community News - are read by approximately 8.1 million or 62% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace every week.
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