Undoubtedly the biggest annual literary event West of the Mississippi, Litquake's nine-day festival-ending parade through the Mission district includes over 400 authors in only three hours, performing every imaginable type of literature in the neighborhood's restaurants, bars, art galleries, theaters, and other community centers (including but not limited to the police station, Good Vibrations, Lost Weekend Video, and the S.F. Buddhist Center). To see more than 1,000 people walking down the Mission/Valencia corridor with festival guides and maps open, debating where to go next, is itself a life-altering experience: literature is everywhere. Featuring journals, reading series, universities, magazines, variety shows, and authors from far and wide, Lit Crawl is the finest microcosm of the Bay Area's literary world. Preparation will serve you well (the comprehensive guide is both online and handed out at all events), but embrace the spontaneous—the chance that you'll discover something new will never be higher, and there's no telling who you'll meet in the streets.