Louisa Kamps, who recently became a Wisconsin Book Festival Ambassador, has been attending festival literary events for several years. A Madison resident for 13 years, she’s an avid reader of mostly nonfiction.

“I’m interested in ideas and in cultural reporting, cultural writing about all kinds of things … science, psychology, politics, the arts,” she said.

But she also cherishes the unexpected — particularly, festival events that she attends by happenstance.

“I like that serendipitous thing when you come for one event, but then you have the schedule in hand and can catch another event where an author is discussing something totally new to you,” she said.

Kamps, a freelance writer, said she believes the festival is a community connector that positively contributes to the quality of life for local residents.

“I think the city events that bring people together are really important to the life of the mind, and to the life of society … to have an intellectual hub for people to talk about big ideas or learn about new things is really important,” she said. “We’re lucky to have this resource.”

Kamps values the festival for offering free, accessible events because she said they support the growth of the whole community.

“The Book Festival is a great thing,” she said. “The events are beautiful. They’re well run. And it’s nice to come downtown.”