The biggest advantage of staying in Edinburgh for a few days is not spending 4 hours a day commuting to the festival. This frees up time to:
1) Attend more events and even (sssh) other festivals such as The Fringe
2) Wander the streets searching out the odd locations that appear in literature set in Edinburgh. Such as the bus-stop by Poundstretchers on South Bridge. (I did say odd, didn’t I? More to follow ….
3) Grab unforeseen opportunities that may arise. Such as interviewing a favourite author face-to-face! Even more to follow ….
4) Stay later and enjoy the square when it’s quieter, pop in and out of the free Unbound shows that are held in the Spiegeltent at 21:00. This is quite an eclectic programme. This year, had I been in Edinburgh on the right nights, I could have attended a literary death match, le freaked-out with Nile Rodgers. On the nights I was there, I experienced (can’t say I enjoyed) the electrical poetry evening which seemed to comprise of poetry produced by synthesisers. I did enjoy, however, the Cargo vs McSweeney’s event on Monday 20.08, in which authors read their short stories published in the Elsewhere anthology. You never know who will appear on the Unbound stage. Big names appearing on Monday included China Miéville and David Vann. The latter, when he wasn’t cracking up at his own pitifulness, read a true story from his recent book, Dirt. As you can see from the photos, the evening was enjoyed by many.
There are disadvantages too; mainly
1) Attending more events leaves no time for reading.
2) Meeting people leaves no time for blogging.
3) Wandering the streets of Edinburgh means passing by many bookshops with the associated strain on the bank account.
I’m home now for 3 days. Will be back in the square for the final day. Once my batteries are recharged, I shall begin the process of reliving it all via the blog.