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Volunteers hand out posters for guests at the opening of the National Book Festival, August 12, 2023. (Edmond Joe/Library of Congress)

Tell Us about Your National Book Festival Experience!

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A summertime National Book Festival was a first-time experience for many of us here, and we loved the way this year’s Festival brought together tens of thousands of book lovers to gather and share stories (all while enjoying the sweet AC!)

The theme of this year’s Festival was “Everyone Has a Story,” and in her remarks opening the Festival, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden told audience members “that means you.” She welcomed the writers, the attendees, the families, the historians, the volunteers, the poets and the bestsellers who made this Festival a reality. “The wonderful writers at this year’s Festival have great stories to tell, and they’re going to share them all day long. But so do you, because books help broaden our world, but they can also serve as mirrors.… [The authors who are here] are reflections of the diversity of readers across our nation, and they’re here to tell our collective history and to share our unique stories.”

If you attended the Festival at the convention center or watched our livestream, we want to hear from you! Please take a moment to take our National Book Festival survey. Every response counts, and we want to hear what you enjoyed and what you didn’t, your highlights and stress points, and how we can keep making the best possible book festival for you! The survey is open until August 31st.

The National Book Festival was made possible by the generous support of private and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein. Sponsors include: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), The Washington Post, General Motors, James Madison Council, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the John W. Kluge Center; additional support provided by the CoStar Group, For The People Fund, with seed funding provided by the Ford Foundation, Sharjah Book Authority, Friends of the Library of Congress (FLOC), Library of Congress Federal Credit Union and The Hay-Adams.


Comments (6)

  1. I listened to the PBS interview of Luis Alberto Urrea about his new book, Goodnight Irene. Very enjoyable time spent listening. I am now reading the book checked out from my local library. I am going to put this even on my list of destinations I need to attend! I attend the Tucson Festival of Books every year and love it.

  2. This was our (me, husband, and 17 year old daughter) first book festival (or really any book related event). I thought it was so well organized! There were people everywhere to answer whatever questions we had or to help us find where we were going. There was a wonderful selection of authors present. The lines for book signings were very well done. If I had to offer any type of negative, it would only be that I wish there were more sitting spaces, as we were there all day and had some downtime between the things we wanted to do.

  3. Very much enjoyed event. Would have liked to have area with Livrary of Congress in larger and less trafficked area. Never got a seat. The 50 states were set up well for the younger crowd. Can’t wait for next one

  4. This was our first National Book Festival but it will definitely not be our last! Such a wonderful lineup of authors. There was something for every genre. During the book signing event it was so nice to have author take time with us. It wasn’t just signing their book. It was very personal. It was talking to us, engaging about their book, about the world, and about us. Honestly, would love to see this more than just one day. Thank you for a great event. Looking forward to next year!

  5. The author talks my husband and I listened to were interesting, informative and inspiring. Thanks for making many of the talks available online.

  6. What an experience! This was my first time visiting the festival. I drove 7+ hrs to see authors Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds. I am so happy that the experience was beyond what I could have imagined. There was so much to do, things to see, and people to interact with. Can’t wait for the next one! We’ll done LoC

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