Readers unite: Books By The Banks celebrates seven years of book love in the Queen City

CINCINNATI - Since 2007, readers have converged in the Queen City for the aptly named Books By The Banks  event to celebrate the written word.

“There’s a lot of avid readers in this community. When you look at how highly ranked our libraries are and the number of bookstores and book clubs and such, we are one of the top in the nation,” said Phyllis Hegner, the promotional team leader for Books By The Banks on Saturday at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Hegner isn’t exaggerating.

In the past seven years the book festival has seen growth in both audience and sales, with increases of 15 to 20 percent in both each year. About 4,500 people attended last year’s festival and more than 5,000 are expected this year.

About 100 authors and illustrators will be on hand, too.

“New this year we have writing workshops and how to get published workshops,” Hegner explained. “Also, because when we do these surveys each year we had a lot of comments requesting those type of panelists.”

The festival is a family event and includes cooking demonstrations, a kids corner, crafts, costumes and entertainment from the Greater Cincinnati Academy of Arts and Music.

“It’s just great listening to the authors talk in these panel discussions,” Hegner said. “There’s always a local interest, too.”

Local featured authors include:

  • Molly Wellman, Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist’s Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon, and Night
  • David Lyman, Cincinnati Ballet Celebrates 50
  • Michael Keating, Cincinnati Shadow and Light
  • Janeen Coyle, A Pug with a Plan

Another new aspect to the festival is that more Young Adult and teen genre authors will be attending than in previous years.

“It’s a really fun event,” Hegner said. “There’s a certain energy when you’re in the Author Pavilion. It’s hard to understand unless you’re there. It’s very unusual to find this many talented authors from around this region (and) from afar in once place. You can  meet them all in one day. For free.”

If you go:

  • Books By The Banks
  • Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Saturday, Oct. 12
  • 10 a.m. to  4p.m.

More authors to look for:

  • Stuart Woods, Doing Hard Time
  • James McBride, The Good Lord Bird
  • Maria Semple, Where'd You Go Bernadette
  • R. J. Palacio, Wonder
  • Bob Shea, Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great
  • Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project
  • Gene Lue Yang, Boxers and Saints
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