Tue, July 23

Books are back! (Actually, they never left)

We had a wonderful book festival earlier this month - the fourth Sedona Book Festival was an all-day celebration of books and authors, showcasing over 100 local and regional authors.

The display of books was awesome, from children's books to adult fiction and nonfiction and everything in between, and the presence of authors was equally awesome, from self-published authors to NYT bestselling authors and everything in between.

But my favorite aspect of the book festival was the passion for the written word that was evident, almost palpable, in every room and in every corner of the Yavapai College campus.

Stephen King, in his great book On Writing, says:

"Writing isn't about making money, getting famous ... or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well... Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up."

The doomsayers of just a couple of years ago are now silent. E-books have had their time in the spotlight and are now resigned to a respectable but small 15% of the market. The printed word, in its infinite manifestations, is not dead - it is alive and well and vibrant. If you have any doubts, you missed a wonderful opportunity to see for yourself at our book festival.

My special and sincere thanks to all of the participants and attendees of the 2013 Sedona Book Festival. Your support is not just appreciated, it is inspiring.

And, to all those hard-line Amazon shoppers, I hope the Amazon book festival was as good as our great little local event!

Joe Neri is the co-owner of The Well Red Coyote bookstore in Sedona. He can be contacted at (928) 282-2284 or