I counted seven open Book Festival programmes on the bus today. Which is pretty inspiring, despite the fact that two of them were mine.
Here are some of my favourite discoveries made in Charlotte Square Gardens today.
As the Olympic Games closed, Book Festival visitors wished they had just one more gold medal to give out – to Darren Shan, who spent over three hours signing books after his event! He received a delighted round of applause for his triumph.
Kristina Stephenson's Sir Charlie Stinky Socks event features music so enjoyably catchy that it embedded itself in the consciousness of several Book Festival staff members (including myself) for the remainder of the day.
Prue Leith was campaigning for healthier school dinners some time before Jamie Oliver. She even came close to persuading PM Tony Blair of her cause.
Maajid Nawaz was an activist with Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. But during a four-year imprisonment in Egypt he engaged in fierce political debate with a number of fellow prisoners and emerged a left wing liberal.
The mother of David Lammy MP used to ferverently believe he would become “a black Aled Jones”. David did his best not to disappoint.
A few people today were intrigued by the photos taken here and there and were wondering where they might see them. In due course they'll be posted on the website, but you can catch some throughout the day on Twitter – and in the meantime, here's a whole little collection from the last couple of days!
|Andrew Motion reads from 'Silver', his loving tribute to 'Treasure Island'|
|Two young visitors bask in Charlotte Square Gardens|
|Tom Watson and James Naughtie talk phone hacking|
|The Soul Foundation entertain at the enthusiastic Book Festival opening party|
|Visitors and authors alike enjoy the atmospheric Guardian Spiegeltent|
|Simon Callow smoulders for the cameras|
|Eager book fans browse the Bookshop|