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National Book Festival, Part 1

October 2, 2006

This road tripping family made it home safe and sound from D.C late yesterday afternoon. The whole weekend was a great time, but exhausting. Minor word of caution, book festivals in the rain, with sick parents, and a child under 1 year of age can be tough! We did make the best of it and I’ll try to fill you in on all the bookish details over the next couple of posts. It’s too much info for just one!

As a whole the festival was GREAT! What a wonderful setting, on the national mall, with the monuments in the background. There were several major sponsors including C-SPAN, PBS, NBA/WNBA, and Target giving away all kinds of freebies like duffel bags, posters, bottled water, etc. I have to say that it was an event geared toward readers of all ages. There was something for everyone and I highly recommend it for a family road trip with kids who are starting to put their noses into books. The mall was covered with tents and “pavilions” each of them dedicated to different genres (children, fiction and fantasy, history and biography, poetry, teens, mysteries and thrillers, home and family). There was a schedule of over 70 different authors speaking in 30 minutes increments on their publications and taking questions from the audience.

There was also a “States Pavilion” where each state had a booth set up to show off their particular reading initiatives and things of bookish interest. Each state was giving away freebies like bookmarks, pens, pencils, stickers…. and lots of stuff to interest kids. Something I found pretty cool for the kids was a contest that involved picking up a colorful (small-sized) map of the United States and proceeding from state to state trying to get a special stamp on their map from as many as possible. That pavilion was packed with kids scampering from booth to booth as fast as they could go!

Additionally, PBS kids had a pavillion with tons of different fun stuff and several characters that the kids could take pictures with. Clifford, Arthur, Elmo (the line for Elmo was RIDICULOUS) and the Bernstein Bears were all there. The Magic School Bus was there for kids to take a romp through too.

The Library of Congress had a pavilion with several interesting displays including the Veterans History Project. Of course, there were book sales tents with the participating authors most recent publications in case you wanted to take a shot at getting their autographs (again, the lines for the book signing were LONG). Here’s what I walked away with (by the way, my Barnes and Noble members card discount did apply!):

March by Geraldine Brooks

American Heroines by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley

Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads by Rosalind Wiseman

State of Denial by Bob Woodward

I also purchased The Boys’ Crusade by Paul Fussell and The Longest Winter by Alex Kershaw over at The FDR Memorial bookstore since I’m a bit of a World War 2 history buff.

More later!

Guest blogged by Maureen

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2006 2:33 pm

    I have to say again how jealous I am that you were able to attend. The event sounds like it would have been something I would have really enjoyed. Luckily, it is a yearly event so hopefully I can make it some other time! – Stephanie

  2. October 2, 2006 8:08 pm

    I’ve always wondered what this event was like. Thanks for giving me a little taste. looking forward to the next post!

  3. October 3, 2006 8:55 am

    So very jealous! We live in Northeast Florida now, but I remember the Miami Book Festival as being a good one – the DC one must be amazing!!!


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