Many people, including myself, mourned the news that the South Carolina Book Festival was no more. Nothing (except maybe writers’ conferences) can get my blood gushing like a room full of books, writers, and readers. Even the smell of the pages invigorates me.
Fortunately, some movers and shakers in Columbia, South Carolina felt the same way—hence, the Deckle Edge Book Festival, which held its inaugural event this past weekend.
First, one might ask “What the heck is a deckle edge?” (As were most people at the festival) It turns out to be the cut of a book’s pages, which today are typically razor sharp. Deckle-edged books are considered “uncut” or “untrimmed.” According to abebooks.com,
“the deckle edge was unavoidable until the 19th century, a byproduct of the papermaking process. Since it became unnecessary, the rough edge gradually turned into a status symbol. Advertisements for books in the late 1800s are rife with mentions of a “deckle edge” alongside the fine paper on which a title was printed.”
I kind of like it. It has character. But on to the festival.
There were four days of events, but I was only able to attend on Saturday. This turned out well for two reasons. One, a critique partner of mine, Sasscer Hill, was on the “Writing Mysteries” panel that day. Two, it coincided with a street market just outside.
This event differed from the old festival in that it was not held in one location. Panels, roundtables, author interviews, and workshops were held in a variety of places. The art museum, Agape Conference Center, and the Jasper Beer Hall to name a few. Even the historic Woodrow Wilson House hosted a workshop.
I can’t cover all that was available. Check out http://www.deckleedgesc.org for a complete list. For me, listening to writers talk about their inspirations, frustrations, and the exhilaration of success was fantastic. I now have a long, diverse list of books to delve into. As I read them, I will write a review on this blog.
For avid readers, start with Sasscer Hill’s horseracing mysteries. The Nikki Latrelle series is available now. Her new Fia McKee books come out from St. Martin’s Press next year. Read more under my You’ll Love These Books! tab or go directly to http://www.sasscerhill.com.