ARI at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
ARI has exhibited and sold books at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books for more than fifteen years. This year was no different.
On April 22 and 23, the festival was held at the University of Southern California with a mix of exhibitors including bookstores, small publishers, self-publishers and advocacy organizations.
“Every year we greet a few regular customers, engage new audiences and respond to inquiries ranging from how to pronounce Ayn Rand’s name to complex philosophical issues. We get compliments from many visitors — ‘thank God you are here every year’ — but also see disapproving faces and gestures,” said ARI’s director of Cultural Outreach Anu Seppala.
“It’s wonderful talking to fellow book lovers about Rand’s fiction and nonfiction, and describing ARI programs,” Seppala said. “We also collect contact information from those interested in being on our mailing list. We get readers to reconnect with a novel they loved in high school, or buy a new one, or move to nonfiction. Every year there’s at least one person who knew Ayn Rand, attended her talks or has some other personal experience to share with us.”
ARI research associate Amanda Maxham was also there to meet and greet Ayn Rand fans. “All types approach our booth — from those who are decades-long fans to those who have heard the name ‘Ayn Rand’ and want to know who she is.”
“Some are happy to just grab a ‘Who is John Galt?’ sticker or buy a copy of We the Living, and others want to discuss Ayn Rand’s ideas in depth,” Maxham said. “It’s fantastic. I met quite a few Ayn Rand fans who bring friends and family over to recommend a book.”
“It’s the nation’s largest literary festival, so it’s not surprising that it is also teeming with Ayn Rand fans,” said Maxham.