Monday, September 24, 2012

The National Book Festival 2012

I've had the opportunity to go to the National Book Festival once before but with now living in the DC metro area I wanted to make the National Book Festival a yearly activity. This year, with the knowledge of how the festival ran in 2010, I felt I had a better grip of what to expect. So the day began early and filled with excitement. I took the metro in (it's advised to do so if you're going to the festival: get out at the Smithsonian stop but beware that weekends usually mean there are hold ups with the metro as they typically do all repair work then) and proclaimed that I would live-tweet as I went along. 

So, that happened. I really adore the Library of Congress and had hoped they would retweet some insightful message I wrote during the day. Instead they retweet my complaints about the tourists! But hey, it's advice for you all to take if you go to the festival in the future. 

I arrived at 10, right when the festival opened, and had every intention to get John Green's signature. His presentation was from 10-10:45 and his signing from 11-2. At 10, an hour before his signing began, the line for his signing looked like this:

The line, by the time the signing began, looped back and forth about ten times and extended into this massive amount of people. I was able to meander over to his presentation while my roommate held a spot in line for me. He was hilarious during his presentation and there were too many people to fit under the tent. 

When 10:45 hit and John Green's speech ended teens were literally running towards the line and the already kinda-long line tripled to this:

Luckily enough for me, I was in the 2nd row and getting excited by the minute. I had my copy of The Fault In Our Stars ready to go and what I wanted to say all planned out.

And then I met him. He was cheerful and said hello to me with all the energy in the world, as if he hadn't already greeted a hundred other people. He asked me if I was wearing a Florence + the Machine shirt (I was) and when I mentioned that I had only just seen her show on Wednesday he proclaimed, "Well, you've had an eventful week!" I stuttered, completely forgetting what I had wanted to say to him, and babbled something in return.

But ultimately I had gotten what I had gone to the festival for:

The rest of the day was spent in the sun and shade, waiting in lines for signings and meandering. I was surrounded by book nerds and so many people declaring their love of literature with shirts and bags. I was making friends simply waiting in line and how easily too, after all we shared the same interest in books. When I grew tired I relaxed under the trees of the National Mall which was sprinkled by other readers and families who were taking a break from the activities as well. The book festival continued into Sunday, although I didn't attend it that particular day - I spent it catching up on entries and decorating for Halloween! I'm excited for next year's Festival and can't wait to see who else may be attending it. Hopefully it won't be quite as toasty in the sun!

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