Giving Back through Festival Fun

Books, activities, food and fun—all contribute to make any book festival great. But with over 130,000 attendees, what sets the Tucson Festival of Books (TFOB) apart from the rest? The initial answer might be that it’s the biggest book festival conducted by any university, but it goes beyond even that. TFOB provides a way for the community and university, including the University of Arizona BookStores, to come together and create a fun, family-friendly event that’s free to everyone, while contributing to Tucson’s literacy outreach. A great event with a great cause! But what does this mean?

Since TFOB’s first festival in 2009, over $1,450,000 in proceeds have been dedicated to different agencies across our Tucson community to help improve literacy. The Festival supports organizations such as Reading Seed, Literacy Connects on top of University of Arizona Literacy Outreach programs—and UA BookStores shares in this support through different programs of our own.

As the principal bookseller of TFOB, not only do we supply the books of all the major authors attending the event, we also strive to bring literacy to our community. It’s our passion, and our mission, to encourage and facilitate the pursuit of higher learning within our community. We do so through the following events:

  • Storybook Character Parade: the kick off of the 9th Annual Tucson Festival of Books where attendees could dress up as their favorite book character and march with storybook characters such as, Pete the Cat, Spot the Dog, Clifford and many more!
  • I Can Read Breakfast: a breakfast where characters and community members could mingle to share readings, activities, raffle prizes, photos and fun!
  • Fiesta Friday with CATS (the Creative Arts Teen Summit): an event for 300 of Tucson’s high school students to workshop, interact and learn from established authors.

Our Festival events are literacy outreach opportunities, created for the youth of Tucson, that bring together our student-workers, staff and community. In addition, they represent programs and goals that UA BookStores has all year long.

Make sure you join us next year for TFOB! The festival will be back again March 10-11, 2018. Check out the for updated events, participating authors, and more. To learn more about literacy programs through the University of Arizona BookStores, visit under information and literacy events.