TWICE AS FUNNY: The five-day New York Comedy Festival kicks off today with a full schedule of events. We’re calling out two: You could go big, star-ry and expensive (at the Stand Up for Heroes Benefit at the Beacon, expect Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld and Joel McHale, plus Bruce Springsteen and Tony Bennett, to raise money for wounded veterans and their families; remaining tickets start around $276; 8PM) or small, offbeat and brilliant (at the Paley Center, comedian Louis C.K. will discuss his FX series Louie with Time culture writer James Poniewozik for $25; 8:30PM).
CLOSER WALK: The Preservation Hall Jazz Band plays a rare NYC gig at City Winery tonight. Expect to be carried away in time (to 100 years ago) and place (to New Orleans, where the band calls legendary traditional-jazz temple Preservation Hall home), and to be reminded of the differences between a tuba and a sousaphone. 8PM.
PAGED: Now that devices like the Kindle are making the printed word seem even more like an inevitably doomed dinosaur, there’s never been a better time for a loving valentine to the book. In Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book, authors like Joyce Maynard, Nick Flynn, Sigrid Nunez and David Hajdu pay tribute to "the book as object" in original essays, with a foreword by Ray Bradbury. Contributors Anthony Swofford, J. Courtney Sullivan, Hajdu and editor Sean Manning celebrate the book—and all books—tonight at the Strand Bookstore. 7PM.