Indulge your love of books with other fans.
Sometimes, finding a quiet space and curling up with a book is the best way to experience the joy of reading.
At other times, what you need is to be surrounded by people who love the written (or spoken) word as much as you do, and for those times, literary festivals are invaluable.
The UK is home to dozens of book festivals, from small, local outfits to large events that attract global audiences.
What all of them have in common is that they bring readers together with other readers, and with authors. You might go to a book festival to hear from and meet your favourite author, but we can guarantee you’ll also discover some new writers along the way.
Festivals take place throughout the year, so there’s always something going on, and many festival also host special events in their off-months.
Here are seven UK festivals to get you started.
Bradford Literature Festival
One of the newer additions to the literary festival scene, Bradford Literature festival is a vibrant event taking place in the heart of the city. Encompassing more than 500 events across 10 days, this is a festival with inclusivity built in – especially impressive when you consider that many festivals struggle to programme inclusively and to attract diverse audiences. Events this year include Sufiana Kalaam, an evening of Qawwali music from the Sufi tradition; a poetry night with Nadine Aisha Jassat, Charly Cox, Sophia Thakur, Sabrina Mahfouz, Juan Felipe Herrera and Imtiaz Dharker; and MPs Rachel Reeves and Tracy Brabin talking to Sky’s political correspondent Kate McCann about women in Westminster.
Where: Various locations, Bradford
When: 28 June to 7 July 2019.
How much: Prices differ depending on the event.
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
Edinburgh International Book Festival
Set in a tented village in the heart of Edinburgh – just off the famous Princes Street – this festival welcomes around 1,000 authors each year across 900 events. The 2019 programme will be announced in June, but previous guests have included Gina Miller, Juno Dawson, Jess Phillips and Kamila Shamsie.
Where: Edinburgh International Book Festival, Book Festival village, Charlotte Square Garden, EH2 4DR.
When: 10 August to 26 August 2019.
How much: Most adult events are priced from £0 to £15, while most children’s events cost between £0 and £8.
Cheltenham Literature Festival
Manchester Literature Festival
London Literature Festival
The Bath Festival
Greenwich Book Festival
Image: Matthew Horwood/Getty, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Bradford Literature Festival