Editor's note: Hi friends, things have changed quickly since this story was written and this event has been canceled for now.
If you're a reader mourning the cancellation of the Tucson Festival of Books, Hotel McCoy has a bookish balm for your soul.
The local hotel is hosting the World's Best Book Swap Saturday, complete with $5 mimosas and literary coloring pages. We are in.
"We tend to lean toward introverted events, rather than the lights and the music and the bright things..." says Nicole Dahl, the creative director of Hotel McCoy. "This is another attempt at gathering people who want to hang out but want a little more chill and comfortable environment. And we thought that the Tucson Festival of Books would be a great time for it because our focus is on books."
The cancellation of the Tucson Festival of Books was announced Monday after more than 100 authors canceled amid coronavirus concerns. As a sponsor of the book festival, Hotel McCoy planned the book swap to coincide with it, Dahl says.
"We assessed the risk ourselves and we feel pretty comfortable still having (the book swap)," Dahl says. "Our disclaimer is, gather, but if you're sick or have been around sick people ... stay home. Don't share drinks. Just be cautious. We can still get together and have a good time even though our favorite festival is canceled."
She adds that the hotel is sanitizing the common areas regularly and keeping the lobby door propped open, weather permitting. The hours of the event were also extended in hopes of thinning out a crowd.
Here's how the book swap will work.
On Saturday, readers can bring books they want to get rid of, leave them on a table and then peruse the other titles up for grabs. Dahl says it's an honor system, so if you bring three books, you can take three books.
"I thought, wouldn't it be cool if that pile of books I have, I take it to an event and switch with other people," she says. "And while you're swapping books, you're talking about them ... and connecting with the book a little bit more."
In addition to the book swap portion, Hotel McCoy will have a coloring station with literary coloring pages, a mimosa bar and dance floor with DJ Carl Hanni. The Pops Hot Chicken food truck will also be on site.
Dahl is also inviting any authors who live here or were already in town for the Tucson Festival of Books to come set up a table at the book swap. There is no fee, but space is limited. Interested authors should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
What: World's Best Book Swap
When: Saturday, March 14, 2-10 p.m. Pops Hot Chicken arrives at 6 p.m., and the DJ shows up at 7 p.m.
Where: Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road. Parking is limited, so ride share if possible. Check the Hotel McCoy Instagram for a code for Lyft credit the day of the event.
Cost: Free, bring books to swap
More info: Go here