National Book Festival 2013 Recap


For all of those who are uninitiated, the National Book Festival is annual event that the President puts on celebrating books and their readers. It’s held on the National Mall and is completely free. I didn’t know that this was a thing until I moved down here but I have to say that I’m so glad that I did.


After wondering around for a bit and grabbing my swag from the info table I landed upon the Margaret Atwood presentation. She was the only one I sat in on, so I don’t know if they were all like this, but it was basically a mediated Q&A. The one question I remember was “What is your perfect reader?” Her response: Someone who loves the cover. She was generally very funny. I didn’t stay around for the whole thing because I anticipated a line for her her signing so I hoped on over to the signing area (after asking the people at information where it was).

Her signing wasn’t too eventful. I had a repetitively good place in line and it moved quickly. After I got out I ran over to Veronica Roth’s line so I could wait for about an hour and a half for her signing to even start. Her line ended up being 12 rows long. And I felt really old. At least in the section of line where I was, most of the people waiting were preteens with their parents. I shouldn’t be surprised and I’m happy they’re reading but some of them got annoying pretty quickly. I tried my best to just sit and read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe on my nook.

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But the long wait was definitely worth it. When I finally got up there all I could vocalize was to thank her for writing these books because I love them so much. She was so sweet and seemed genuinely grateful. I love her so much and can’t wait til Allegiant comes out!

That was the end of day 1 for me. It started to rain almost immediately after I got the signature and I had a long walk to the metro to meet my friends for a bachelorette party.

Day 2

Sunday was kind of late start. After a kind of crazy night and a fantastic brunch some of my new friends and I came around the festival grounds in the late afternoon. Just in time to jump into the beginnings of DJ MacHales line. Once things started moving the line went pretty fast which was kind of surprising because MacHale took the time to talk to pretty much everyone. When I finally got up there and handed my copy of Sylo to him the first thing he did was ask me what kind of books I liked to read. I babbled on for a bit about how I love all kind of books and wanted to become a librarian. After teasing me a bit about how I was ‘one of those’ he got kind of serious and told me that I after I finished Sylo to go on his website and email him about what I thought. He seems really interested in his fans and actually wants to hear back from him. On a slightly random note I’m in love with his white hair.

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We then ran over to Tamora Pierces line. I was in about the same place as I was for Veronica Roth’s but did not have to wait as long thankfully. While in line I made a friend with a children’s librarian who goes every year and gets library books signed. I thought that was an awesome idea, and while I don’t know if I want to be a children’s librarian if I ever do I want to adopt that practice. It just makes the books extra special for the kids and according to her they are more likely to take care of them.

We just barely got our books signed though. They extended the signing by a half hour but we were still some of the last people to get our books signed. I didn’t get to talk to her or even really make eye contact but I’ve been in love with her books for so long that it doesn’t even matter.


In conclusion, I would have to say that the Book festival was a huge success and I can’t wait to go back next year. For those who are curious all of the presentations are recorded and put on the Library of Congress’ website for anyone to watch. That’s mostly why I attended signing instead of the presentations although I think that next year I might switch it up and see a few authors that I’ve never heard of before.




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