Reading books has always been something I love, and since having my little one, I’ve been trying to help her understand the joy that comes from reading something. For now, she mostly loves turning the pages of books, whispering “soft” when she touches something fuzzy in Furry Friends and smiling at the bright colors in Goodnight Moon.
One day I hope she’ll get lost in the big woods with Laura Ingalls Wilder, or find herself solving a mystery with Nancy Drew. But before she can find herself relating to Jo in Little Women, she needs to learn to love reading.
The National Book Festival is this weekend on the National Mall here in DC. More information and a complete schedule of events is available here.
I’ve committed myself to going this year– telling my husband he will join in on the fun. Like it. Or not. Rain or Shine.
I mean, where else can you meet Newberry-winning authors, listen to a former president’s daughter, an Olympic gymnast, a famous singer-songwriter, and meet R.L Stine himself? All in one place? For free? I dare you to try.
The 12th annual two day event will feature more than 100 authors, illustrators and poets in the Children, Teen, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Contemporary Life, Poetry & Prose, SciFi Fantasy & Graphic Novels tents. They will be signing books, discussing their work, and performing on the Family Storytelling Stage. Scouts can even earn a special Book Festival patch. You may bring your own books to have signed, or buy them at the Book Sales Pavilion at the festival if you’re short on time this week. You’ll want to have your books before getting in line to meet the authors.
If you live out of the area, or can’t come– look at creating your own Book Festival. The Library of Congress has a kit available to get you started and podcasts available from several of the authors who will be at the DC event.
Although my kids may never use a card catalog and read most of their books digitally– through events like this they will develop a close relationship with books and a whole new set of authors. Every year.
And don’t worry, I won’t skip out on introducing my little girl to Little House on the Prairie one day. It’s a book that shaped my childhood.
+ When: Saturday, September 22: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 23: noon – 5:30 p.m.
+ Where: National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets, DC; Metro: Smithsonian and Federal Center SW on the Blue & Orange lines; L’Enfant Plaza and Archives/Navy Memorial on the Yellow & Green Lines
+ The National Book Festival is part of a larger Library of Congress program “Celebration of the Book.” You can catch an exhibition as part of the two year program called “Books that Shaped America” until the end of the month in the Southwest Gallery on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..