(credit: miamibookfair.com)

Miami Book Fair International
Miami Dade College
300 N.E. 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33132
(305) 237-3258

Dates: November 11-18, 2012; Street Fair is November 16-18, 2012
Hours: Opens at 9 a.m; call ahead for specific schedule of events
Admission: Free-$10; ‘Friends of the Fair’ Membership packages available

Maybe you’re sitting poolside on a sultry Miami day with your tenth reading of “50 Shades of Gray” continually getting interrupted by the tourist child soaking you like Lolita the killer whale every time he does a cannonball. Or maybe you just want to escape the throngs of people at the beach to join a more intellectual mob—sans the water wings—at the 29th annual Miami Book Fair International. Here then, is all you need to know.Originally founded by Miami Dade College in 1984, the fair is now recognized as the nation’s most influential literary festival. The Miami International Book Fair is a literary buffet for readers of any age and interest. Like the host city, it boasts a culturally diverse constellation of nationalities. Held rain or shine, the fair regularly draws upwards of 250,000 book lovers during its eight-day run.
Programming:Beginning Sunday, November 11 and continuing through Friday, November 16, literature lovers can partake in reading workshops and presentations, as well as plenty of activities for children and adolescents. The fair enhances its international flavor by presenting a featured country each year. This year, readers can discover Paraguay and celebrate the country’s culture and unique contribution to the arts through music and dance, literature and a delicious variety of cultural components.Related: Best Literary Landmarks In Miami

‘Evenings With’If you’re interested in connecting with authors from around the world, the ‘Evenings With’ series provides attendees with unique opportunities to indulge in six nights of readings and discussions with authors from the U.S. and every corner of the globe. Admission is $10 and sells out fast, so consider becoming a ‘Friend of the Fair‘ member. For an annual contribution, activities are free and membership allows you to get tickets before anyone else, entitles you to reserved seating and ensures you won’t miss your favorite author because of a sell-out. A variety of membership packages are available.
Street FairThe Street Fair begins on Friday, November 16 and continues through Sunday, November 18. This is “where the ink hits the paper” as they say in the writing world as thousands of book lovers converge on the Miami-Dade College campus to enjoy the glory of the printed word through a variety of activities.Thousands of children will kick off the festivities on Friday, enjoying authors and diving into the Children’s Alley where the flames of their imaginations will burn brightly with readings by a variety of authors. Also, fun-filled activities including story-telling, theatre and arts and crafts will be available.

Children and teens can revel in graphic novels and comics by participating in a school of comics on Friday as well as “presentations over the weekend by renowned graphic novelists and illustrators.”

The Festival of Authors is the crowning event of the fair with more than 350 authors reading and discussing their work. Latin-American literature will also be celebrated by authors on hand who will participate in the IberoAmerican Authors Program.

Over 250 publishers and booksellers will be present to display and sell books, including the ‘antiquarians’ who dazzle attendees with historic autographed first editions, original manuscripts and a variety of collectibles.

The Street Fair opens Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and the first presentations begin at 10 a.m. It is highly recommended that you arrive early to allow for traffic and not miss your desired presentation due to a sell-out.

Related: Best Indie Bookshops In Miami

Glenn Osrin is a journalist and seasoned consumer products sales professional living in Miami, Florida. A new vegan, his most recent assignment is writing about the benefits of a plant-based diet and lifestyle while learning about the Miami vegan community. His work can be found at Examiner.com.