Edinburgh Book Festival's garden cafe is a great place for meeting interesting people. A stimulating talk, followed by a drink in the sunshine with a random stranger and a discussion of the talk you've both just seen. Time can be profitably spent whiling away the hours you should be getting home for dinner.
But watch out for a certain type of person! Authors. Not the author you've come to see, but other authors, authors who aren't on the bill, authors loitering specfically to tell you they have written a book. "I'm an author!" they'll say and expect praise and interest. Don't give it.
Turn and run.
Because authors who possess the need to talk about their own books are obsessive. No intellectual cafe-culture butterflies, lighting from subject to subject with subtelty and wit, but sons of the soil, ploughing monomanic furrows through the reluctant earth of captive minds.
Heed my warning: beware of authors at the Edinburgh Book Festival.
15 hours ago