By: Hannah Vandegrift, homeschool
During the third weekend of September every year, the National Book Festival, hosted by the Library of Congress, takes place on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
For book lovers, this festival is a heavenly convention, with book signings and presentations by famous authors, a large book sale where you can purchase already autographed copies of your favorite books, and this year, even the President of the United States and the First Lady were in attendance.
“The whole place is teeming with bookworms,” said 13 year old Linda Ma, a first timer at the festival, “It’s great to talk to other people who love books.”
By 10:30 a.m., the festival was in full swing. The National Monument (surrounded by scaffolding, still being repaired from a 2011 earthquake) stood tall in the overcast sky, overlooking the Mall.
The festival features an abundance of popular authors in various genres.
When asked which author she would love to see come to the festival someday, Emily Zhang of Richmond responded, “Oh, that’s a tough one. Probably J.K. Rowling. I’d get her to sign my face.”
Immediately after arrival, a mad rush begins to complete as many events as possible. People are everywhere, carrying books and orange Library of Congress bags, which were given out for free to everyone in attendance. The excitement is contagious.
Zhangfound the festival experience to be intense, saying it made her feel panicked.
She said, “We had to run to get to the Holly Black line because we got here at, like, 11:30 [a.m.]. So far, it’s really cool.”
Riding the underground metro into the city, picking up a brand new, signed copy of a popular novel, meeting authors face to face, and racing for cover when it suddenly starts to rain all contribute to a fulfilling and unforgettable event. The festival is crowded and lines to meet authors can be long and slow moving, but it’s all part of the experience.
Find out more about the National Book Festival and the Library of Congress at www.loc.gov/bookfest/.