It's our favorite summer street fair: the Printers Row Lit Fest, that annual Chicago Tribune-organized weekend of bookstall browsing, author panels and sun-soaked appreciation for the written word among fellow bookworms.

Now the Trib is keeping the spirit of the event alive year-round: The new Printers Row journal (the first issue was delivered to members yesterday) is required reading for anyone who's had enough "news" about celebrity breakups and craves a return to in-depth coverage of books and authors.

Printers Row is 24 weekly pages filled with interviews, author profiles, book reviews and reports on Chicago and Midwest writers--and the journal is going beyond ink in its quest for full literary immersion. Memberships ($99 a year for Tribune subscribers; $149 for non-subscribers) include access to online forums, live discussions with writers and critics at Tribune Tower, VIP access to the Lit Fest in June and weekly bonus booklets of original fiction to read now or save for rainy afternoons.

In her letter to readers in the preview issue of Printers Row, Tribune literary editor Elizabeth Taylor called it "the heart of [the paper's] plan to build a new community of readers and writers in our wonderful literary city."

That's what we call hot type--start the presses.

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