Saturday, October 2, 2010

Banned Books Week: The National Book Festival

This past Saturday was the National Book Festival. How fitting to be celebrating books at the start of Banned Books Week? For the day my coworkers/friends and I took off from work and traveled to Washington DC. I was up at 3:30 in the morning after a solid week of not getting a full night of sleep. Meeting with my two friends Aidan and Greg we hopped into Greg's car and traveled south.

The weather: in the 90's. A hot wind would gust through the national mall on occasion but otherwise it was stifling and I ended up with sunburn.
The crowd: huge. 

Going to the National Book Festival was an experience which I can knock off of my bucket list. I decided, to wrap up Banned Books Week, I'll post a couple of random photos from the event. Because hey, this is my freedom right here- my freedom to read what I would like and no one will stop me. =)
My friends Greg and Aidan.
Aidan is the cofounder of the company Christopher Williams Books- Check it out!
And Greg can do it all, just check out his website James Kastle.

Picture taken by Brandon Howe

Diana Gabaldon! Author of Outlander

Another picture taken by Brandon Howe
That would be me getting my book signed by Katherine Patterson-
She was such a sweetheart!

There were over 20 booths where authors were doing autographs and multiple tents where the authors who weren't currently signing books were, instead, making speeches or answering questions. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many people who adored books almost as much as myself. Plus, you're on the National Mall of DC and have the capability of doing some sight seeing while you're there. 

If you're interested in going the National Book Festival it is each year during the fall. My suggestion to you is avoid the DC traffic and parking situation entirely by parking at one of the DC Metro stations further out. Pay for a metro card and ride the train to the Smithsonian station. (it only cost me $3 to go from Vienna, Virginia all the way to DC and $3 to get back). There was a lot of food and water for sale in an assortment of places so you didn't have to look very far but I brought a big bottle of water with me which lasted while I waited for an hour in one line in the direct sun. 

Wear comfortable shoes that are good enough for a lot of walking and a lot of standing. Also, bringing a little camping chair that's easy to lug around is understandable. When you're standing on line to have a book signed you will be standing still for a long time, sitting down was something I dreamed about during those moments. Also, if you want to get a lot of books signed- bring a lot of friends with you who are willing to stand on line for you. I wouldn't have had the chance to get Diana Gabaldon's signature if it wasn't for Aidan who patiently waited on a line for me.

I'm so glad I had this opportunity, although the day was definitely dampened by my inability to handle heat. 

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