I and fellow book-mad locals borrow well over 2 million items from our libraries each year, fossick through 50 tonnes of books at the Founder’s Book Fair and buy enough books to keep local booksellers (somewhat) solvent. We also attend book festivals like the Volume Mapua Literary Festival last month, or the upcoming Page & Blackmore Pukapuka Talks (previously Readers and Writers) at the Nelson Arts Festival in October.
Why? On the face of it the answer seems obvious: we like books. Don’t we simply go to book festivals the way rugby enthusiasts attend rugby matches, or music lovers attend concerts?