Is it possible to become word drunk? If so, experiencing the hundreds of authors and exhibitors at Portland's biggest book bash, Wordstock, makes for a downright intoxicating weekend. This year, festival organizer Greg Netzer and crew have wooed a who's who of thoughtful and interesting authors, including big names like Jonathan Lethem and Joseph O'Neill; plus a special lit edition of Mortified and a whopping 30 panels featuring writers gabbing about everything from war reporting to supernatural fiction. Before the insanity set in this week, we asked a handful of authors for their real take on everything from the books that first made them pick up a pen to their guiltiest of pleasures and the dumbest thing they've ever done.

GO: Most Wordstock events take place at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 235-7575. Wordstock book fair 10 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 9-10. $7 for one day, $10 both days. Kids 13 and under free.Full schedule of events at