JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – R.L. Stine, the bestselling author of the "Goosebumps" series, was in Jacksonville on Saturday.
Stine was the keynote author at the Jacksonville Public Library's third annual Jax Book Fest.
Families flocked to the event, which was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Main Library downtown. The first 900 people in the door received a free souvenir tote bag.
Parents and grandparents couldn't believe the turnout for the Jax Book Fest.
"It kind of blew my mind," said Elise Soloman, who brought her grandson. "I didn't expect as many people, but it's great."
The festival also featured presentations and signings by other nationally known and local authors. Stine gave a presentation at 1 p.m. in the Hicks Auditorium, which was followed by a book signing.
Michelle Deraspis brought her 10-year-old, who's a huge "Goosebumps" fan. She said, from day one, she's been reading to her son in hopes he would pick up the habit.
"I love it. I grew up reading and I've always been a bookworm. I'm still a bookworm," Deraspis said. "I love that he's embraced reading and he tries to collect as many books as he can. And he reads through them quickly and can retain the information. He loves it."
Stine said he started writing when he was 9 years old and has written about 350 books in his career. Stine was very popular in the 1990s, earning the title of best-selling author in America for three years in a row. Now, parents are reading those books with their children, making them a hit once again.
“That’s really what 'Goosebumps' and all the books are about. I don’t really want to terrify kids. The whole point is reading motivation and getting them to read. I’m so lucky to have so many kids learn to read from 'Goosebumps,'" Stine told the audience at the Jax Book Fest. "It’s really a nice thing."
Stine noted the "Goosebumps" series, which has been around for 26 years, recently signed on for six more years. Stine also has a new comic book series for children called “Just Beyond." The first book will come out in September.
For more information about Saturday's event, click here.