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Top 5 Reasons to Join the Booklovers Circle

The following is a guest post by Thomas Shaw, operations assistant in the Library’s Development Office.

We are excited to announce a new opportunity for book lovers to support our beloved annual celebration of reading and literacy, the National Book Festival, while enhancing their own festival experience. Each year, the Library of Congress National Book Festival brings together tens of thousands of festivalgoers with more than 100 of their favorite authors for engaging conversation, book signings and family fun.

Thanks to its many sponsors and supporters, the festival has always been free to the public. This is by design, as the Library strives to promote a culture of reading and literacy. This year, the Library offers festival fans and literacy supporters the limited opportunity to join the Booklovers Circle with a $1,000 gift, which lets them experience the festival in a whole new way. Here are a few of our top reasons for why being a Booklovers Circle member matters:

1. Maximize Your Time, Bypass The Line

Begin your day at the National Book Festival with smooth, expedited entry at the Washington Convention Center. Avoid the wait and save your time and energy for a full day of excellent festival programming.

Crowds line up to see James McBride at the 2016 National Book Festival. Photo by Claire Gardiner.

2. Guarantee Seating For Your Most Anticipated Authors

Have you always wanted to see Diana Gabaldon up close? Are you worried you’ll miss out on getting a seat to hear David McCullough? Joining the Booklovers Circle guarantees you and a guest reserved seating in all of the festival stages, including the Main Stage, which features both Diana Gabaldon and David McCullough, as well as Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Friedman, J.D. Vance and David Baldacci.

Guests watch a presentation by Raina Telgemeier at the 2016 National Book Festival. Photo by Shawn Miller.

3. Exclusive Invitations To Premiere Library of Congress Literacy Events

Stephen King embraces Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden at the 2016 National Book Festival. Photo by Dave Myles.

Members of our National Book Festival Booklovers Circle are warmly invited to become regulars at signature Library of Congress literary events throughout the year. This includes the opening reading by Tracy K. Smith, the new Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry on September 13.

4. Expand Your National Book Festival Poster Collection

Every year, the Library of Congress enlists the talents of a new artist who designs the artwork that we incorporate into our striking National Book Festival Poster. Our most devoted festivalgoers collect every poster. Even if you’re just beginning your collection, with your Circle membership it’s never too late to take home a limited edition National Book Festival poster.

5. Make It Possible For Other People To Love Books As Much As You Do

The Booklovers Circle is a great way to both give back to an event that has enriched so many lives and become a “must-do” on the annual literary calendar, while enhancing your own festival experience. If you want to see the impact of the gift you are making, look no further than our Children’s Stages and the very curious minds there that are just beginning to express their own love for reading.

National Book Festival, September 24, 2016. Photo by Dave Myles.

The National Book Festival is a true celebration of reading—a place where best-selling authors connect with fans, readers discover new writers and the power of storytelling carries the day. Your membership in the Booklovers Circle helps to ensure the National Book Festival’s bright future, but most immediately, it guarantees you exclusive access to an event that simply can’t be missed.

More Information

For more information on supporting the festival, contact Tom Shaw by phone (202) 707-1550 or email at tsha[at]loc[dot]gov

Join the Booklovers Circle

The 2018 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which is free for everyone, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 1. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.

7 Comments

  1. Terri Hubbard
    August 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I would love to participate in this amazing program. Books saved my life as a young child. I couldn’t get enough books from the library to read! Books are my life’s blood! I’m reading Flowers for Algernon yet again. I haven’t read it since high school and I’m 53!

  2. Holly
    August 10, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Just wanted to clarify – must the donation to the Booklovers Circle be $1,000 to bypass the line and get reserved seating to hear an author? Can you get these privileges by donating a smaller amount? Will any free tickets be given out to hear any of the authors speak?
    Thanks for all you’re doing.
    Holly

  3. Sandra
    August 10, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    I am very disappointed to see this email. You are turning the NBF into an elitist event. Have loved and been a supporter and attendee of NBF since its early days. However, letting people “buy their way” into skipping the line and getting first dibs on featured authors, to me, does not reflect the intent of the NBF which is celebrating the love of books! I will reserve my final judgement until after this year’s festival but may find it necessary to withdraw my support and attendance in the future.

  4. Lola Pyne
    August 10, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    The Library of Congress National Book Festival is free and open to everyone. The vast majority of seats for every author presentation are held for the public on a first-come, first-served basis and that will not change this year. However, the National Book Festival is ONLY made possible through the generous support of sponsors and individuals dedicated to advancing reading and literacy. We are pleased to offer a limited number of Booklovers Circle memberships to individuals interested in helping to secure the future of the festival and happy to acknowledge them with a special festival experience.

  5. Georgie Green
    August 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    I’m sorry… this is just wrong. Everyone walking through those doors at The National Book Festival is “dedicated to advancing literacy and reading”, not just the individuals with an extra $1,000 in their pocket. I love the Library of Congress, but this smacks of the privilege and excluding atmosphere common in our nation’s capital now. The result is that the NATIONAL Book Festival will now be separating the haves from the have-nots… This is not how libraries act! I am sure that everyone would be happy to pay a small fee to “secure the future of the festival” as opposed to stepping aside for the fortunate few.

  6. Shelley Laub
    August 13, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I am proud to donate to literacy promotion, however this is blatantly unfair! I’m a newly retired schoolteachers with arthritis. I can’t afford to donate $1000, but was given no option for other monetary levels. I also have a hard time standing for long. How about a lottery system, and $25.00 donations, to level my chances of these privileges , not only the chances for the wealthy???

  7. Teresa
    August 22, 2017 at 10:34 am

    I am surprised and very disappointed to see this new option. It defeats the purpose of the festival being available to everyone. I have waited in line in the past couple years at the convention center only to be told that the venue is full. I never encountered these problems when the festival was on the Mall. When it was outdoors, you could always stop and listen & discover new authors. If funding is truly needed, seating and admission should have remained equitable. Sell tickets to the festival (say the price of tickets for an afternoon movie, $10) & keep it free for children. Maybe even give teachers a free pass on providing a school ID as they take the lessons back to the classroom & develop future reading enthusiasts.

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