Although it’s been over for nearly a week, you can still find lots of material online to vicariously experience the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is billed as the largest of its type in the world. Edinburgh is a lovely city, and I’m sure it was a great setting for this 17-day celebration of the written and spoken word.  There has been considerable coverage before, during and after the event in the British media; such as this September 1 report on guardian.co.uk and another, Scottish-centric one on the same day from the [Aberdeen] Press and Journal. Among the hundreds of authors featured this year were Garrison Keillor, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Karen Armstrong, Alexander McCall Smith, Tracy Chevalier, Margaret Drabble and Richard Dawkins. The media page of the festival’s site has lots of interesting material, including photos, blogs, and audio/video from 2009 and earlier years. I also liked the Staff Tops 10s lists. There are a number of archived stories about the festival from EdinburghGuides.com. Of course, J. K. Rowling is closely associated with Edinburgh and she read from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and answered questions at the 2004 Edinburgh Book Festival. The longtime director of the festival, Catherine Lockerbie, is stepping down this year and the occasion was commemorated in a poem by the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Read more about it (and the text of the poem) at Magnus Linklater’s August 18 story on timesonline.co.uk, Carol Ann Duffy’s tribute to departing head of Edinburgh book festival. Next year’s festival dates are August 14-30, 2010. My new goal: to not just attend, but to be booked for a future Edinburgh International Book Festival.