The 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival closed up shop Sunday evening – leaving more than 200,000 delighted book-lovers thrilled to have heard from and met their favorite authors, stoked up with new titles to read, and exhilarated by two days of gorgeous fall weather there on the National Mall.
One couple even got engaged in the book-signing line for graphic novelist Craig Thompson!
I may be biased, but I’m also in a position to know: as the project (operational) manager for the festival, I can attest that things did indeed run smoothly, and there were few hang-ups or hitches.
That was largely the result of a great team at the Library of Congress (thanks, gang!) and no fewer than 1,200 volunteers who trained specially to provide information, service and safety to the hordes of happy guests. Thanks to all you volunteers, from the Library, the general public and the Junior League of Washington – it wouldn’t have happened without you. Happy hundredth anniversary to the JLW, by the way …
No fewer than 126 authors, illustrators and poets came to the National Mall for this year’s festival, more than at any of the Library’s past 11 festivals.
Authors included Nobel-winner Mario Vargas Llosa, T.C. Boyle, Patricia Cornwell, Robert Caro, Jeffrey Eugenides, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Michael Connelly, Christopher Paolini, Junot Diaz, Thomas Friedman, Walter Isaacson, Charlaine Harris, Mike Lupica, Lois Lowry, Jeff Kinney and R.L. Stine; and a wildly popular author named John Green (“Books are like tweets, except longer”) who thanked the 1,800 people who waited in line for him.
Nothing as big as the National Book Festival can happen, however, without a few lost items. We suspect some little one is missing the Hello Kitty toy pictured below, dropped in the Let’s Read America Pavilion near the stuffed steed of festival sponsor Wells Fargo. That your Kitty? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.