Having a good book is a must when lounging on the beach in Hawaii. It’s like making sure to have sunscreen and a towel; you wouldn’t leave the hotel room without them. That’s why the Hawaii Book & Music Festival is a great place to replenish your bookshelf – or at least your travel reads while on vacation.

​Every May, book lovers young and old gather on the grounds of Honolulu Hale. They look forward to trading old books for new or gently-used ones at the popular Book Swap. The booth donates the collected books to Hawaii Literacy, a local organization that strives to provide literacy and lifelong learning services to the community.

The Book Swap is mostly why I started going to the festival. It is truly a treasure chest of all kinds of books – from picture books to pocketbooks. Each year, readers dig up this chest at the festival. The swap is where I picked up one of my favorite books called The Worse-Case Scenario.” It’s a simple – yet humorous – little handbook to survival that always reminds me how things could be a lot worse in life.

The best thing about this annual fest is that it gets kids psyched on reading! There are tons of activities for them to take part in. There’s reading time with well-known authors and a meet-and-greet with PBS Kids and other classic characters, like The Cat in the Hat, Curious George and The Lorax. It’s like Disneyland but much more educational.

HAWAII BOOK & MUSIC FESTIVAL• Every May at the grounds of Honolulu Hale • www.hawaiibookandmusicfestival.com

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