Yes, people still read books. Bookstores may become a thing of the past someday soon, but books themselves - no. Whether holding a book in your hands, turning pages, nose buried, tangibly engaged, or, using an electronic book reader, your smartphone or some other electronic device, people still read books.

Novels, short story collections, mystery and suspense (my personal favorites), history, politics, autobiographies, science; name your preference and it exists somewhere in book form. I for one, am thankful we still celebrate books and the people who write them, across the world and right here at home!

The South Dakota Festival of Books will take place Thursday, September 20, through Sunday, September 23. There will be a huge volume of events in both Sioux Falls and in Brookings, which will take place in multiple venues in both cities. There is even a full slate of pre-festival events which begin on Monday, September 17!

The South Dakota Festival of Books is taking place at the same time that "The Great American Read" is going on. This is a campaign and competition sponsored by PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) to "explore the power of books and the joy of reading". It offers everyone the chance to nominate their favorite books with PBS choosing the top 100 vote-getters.

Best-selling novelist Alice Seebold (The Lovely Bones) is the featured guest of the festival's "Great American Read" event, on Friday, September 21, from 7 to 8 PM in Larson Memorial Hall at the Performing Arts Center in Brookings.

But that is just one of the so many activities associated with this awesome celebration of everything - books! Most events are absolutely free but some presentations and workshops do require tickets so get yours before they are sold out.

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