This Saturday, September 27th, the Library of Congress will be sponsoring the National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington DC (10am to 5:30pm). It’s a chance to hear your favorite authors speak and even ask questions during talkback time.
Last year, I went to the fair with a few friends and was thrilled to be in Terry Pratchett’s audience. Unfortunately, I have to spend most of this Saturday at my own library, but at least I’ll be participating in spirit. The friends I went with e-mailed me this last week to see if I’d be up for it again, and while I wasn’t able to go I had a few suggestions which I thought I’d pass on to the rest of you.
How to Get to the National Book Festival
The National Book Festival is held on the National Mall. I would suggest using the Smithsonian metro stop, which has an exit directly onto the Mall. Both the Orange Line and the Blue Line stop there. When you get out of the station, you’re already in the book festival.
If you’re coming in on the Red Line metro, change to the Orange or Blue at Metro Center heading toward New Carrollton (orange) or Largo Town Center (blue). If you’re coming in on the Yellow or Green Lines, catch the Orange/Blue at L’Enfant Plaza and head toward Vienna/Fairfax or Franconia-Springfield.
For those who don’t live in DC but live close enough to come, I suggest driving down to one of the outlying metro stations and getting on the metro there. The Metro provides a clickable map so you can see which station is closest to your side of DC. Then click on the station (Greenbelt, Shady Grove, Glenmont, Largo, etc) for its location. Any station with a car logo by it actually has a parking lot, so if outlier doesn’t seem like the best choice you can easily park at a numebr of stations.
And parking in DC Metro lots is free on weekends. Compare that with the rest of DC, where parking prices are crazy.
Who Will Be Speaking at the National Book Festival
A LOT of people. Authors I’d particularly like to hear are: Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Michelle Singletary (who writes about personal finance), Geraldine Brooks, Sandra Brown, and James McBride. I haven’t even read a couple of them, I just see interact a lot with their books at work.
The author list has clickable links to pages which tell you when and where an author will be speaking and signing books. Also who the author is if the name sounds familiar but you can’t place it.
So there you go. If you’re close to the DC area and don’t have other plans for the weekend, I encourage you to come. It’s very easy to get to, everything but the metro ticket is free (but bring water and a lunch if you don’t want to pay DC prices!). As for me, I’ll be making books available in a more mundane fashion.