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One Day, 15 Hours, 53 Minutes and Counting …

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Pavilions arise … the Library of Congress National Book Festival opens Saturday

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is just hours away!

It’s free … it’s open to the public on the National Mall … and it’s got fun and fascination for readers of all ages and tastes.

No fewer than 112 stellar authors – historians, novelists, children’s and teens’ authors, poets, biographers, illustrators and graphic novelists – will delight legions of fans at the 13th annual Festival. It takes place on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, between 9th and 14th streets on the Mall.  It will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine.

Special features of this year’s festival include a Library of Congress Pavilion packed with presentations from the Library’s curators and collections, plus a presentation of top awards Sunday at noon in the Special Programs Pavilion for 5th-and 6th-grade students who wrote essays in the multi-state “A Book That Shaped Me” contest.  During that session, a trio of excellent literacy programs that have won awards in the premiere Library of Congress Literacy Awards will be announced.

In keeping with the festival’s theme, “Books That Shaped the World,” fans are invited to go to the official website and, using a survey form, nominate books that they believe meet that description. Balloting will also take place in-person at the Festival’s Library of Congress Pavilion (you can even nominate on our giant whiteboard).

Poets, authors and artists slated to appear at the festival include Marie Arana, Rick Atkinson, Margaret Atwood, Lynda Barry, Taylor Branch, Christopher Buckley, Fred Chao, Giada De Laurentiis, Don DeLillo, Stuart Eizenstat, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Juan Felipe Herrera, Khaled Hosseini, William P. Jones, Cynthia Kadohata, Thomas Keneally, Hoda Kotb, this year’s poster illustrator Suzy Lee, Rafael López, Terry McMillan, Brad Meltzer, Joyce Carol Oates, Katherine Paterson, Tamora Pierce, Daniel Pink, Linda Ronstadt, Jon Scieszka, Chad “Corntassel” Smith, Manil Suri, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, George Weigel, William Wegman … well, heck.  Why not just look at the entire list of authors here.

This may be, honestly, as much fun as you’ll ever have under the auspices of the federal government (paid for with funds provided by very generous sponsors).  Don’t miss it! It goes on rain or shine, and every now and then there will be some precip, so pack a little umbrella or a poncho and you’ll be golden.

We’ll see you there! Meanwhile, have fun watching the NBF countdown clock (and other features) at the festival website.


  1. I like the comment , ” bring a poncho or an umbrella”. It looks like one of those Saturdays.It rained pretty hard in Indiana & Ohio on Friday.

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