Midge Thorn, a school librarian in Braxton County, has been coming to the book festival for years and said that, while she was pleasantly surprised by the amount of families and children in attendance, it's something she doesn't see enough.
"This gives me hope. It's so hard nowadays to get kids to pick up a book. Some will read on devices, but some parents don't realize how great sitting down and reading a book can be for a child," she said. "I'm still resistant to the electronic thing. There's just nothing like the feel of a good book."
The festival is a good time for authors, too.
Rick Robinson, a Kentucky native whose latest book, "Writ of Mandamus," won the grand prize at this year's London Book Festival, said the event helps him connect with his audience in a special way.
"I've been coming here ever since I've been writing books," he said. "I love talking to readers and answering questions like, 'Why'd you kill that person off?' or 'Why'd you write that part?' As a writer, you learn a lot by talking to your readers in this environment.
"You have to get a tough skin and a great set of ears for listening. A lot of what my readers tell me ends up in my books. I love it here. It's like a big family reunion for me."
The West Virginia Book Festival is presented by the Kanawha County Public Library, the Library Foundation of Kanawha County, the West Virginia Humanities Council, The Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail.
The festival continues Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.wvbookfest.org.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.