Support the 2017 Book Festival

Gene Luen Yang and Stephen King at the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Photo by Ellis Brachman

Gene Luen Yang and Stephen King at the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Photo by Ellis Brachman

(The following is a guest post from Sue Siegel, director of development at the Library of Congress.)

To Stephen King, the master of horror, a truly frightening scenario is the emergence of a world of non-readers. King, a champion of literacy recognized by the Library of Congress, says that reading is critical to opening up our abilities to empathize and analyze — skills that are essential to being an informed thinker and better human being. He has made it part of his life’s work to inspire young audiences to read so they may know “learning to think is a result of hard work and steady effort.”

He is justified in being afraid. Across America, the statistics about the state of literacy and reading are heartbreaking:

  • The U.S. is ranked 12th in literacy among 20 “high income” countries.
  • 44 million adults are unable to read a simple story to their children.
  • 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level.
  • Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year.

Source: National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau

To promote a culture of reading and literacy at the national level, the Library of Congress presents the annual National Book Festival — a booklover’s dream come true. Each year, hundreds of thousands of booklovers of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to meet their favorite authors and snag autographs (popular graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier managed to autograph 1,500 books in an hour and 10 minutes!) from such luminaries as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Candice Millard, Bob Woodward, Ken Burns, Salmon Rushdie, and Kwame Alexander, in-person and virtually, entirely free of charge.

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is only possible because of donors who share a commitment to advancing reading and combatting illiteracy.

Please make a gift today to help create a nation of readers, and mark your calendar for Sept. 2, 2017, for next year’s National Book Festival.

Donate Now

4 Comments

  1. Peter Anderson
    December 12, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    You tell us to mark our calendars and then don’t include the date for us to mark, LOL!

  2. H.Victoria Hargro Atkerson
    December 12, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Will there be vending opportunities for Independent Authors like myself? If so, Where do I register?

  3. Pat
    December 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Peter,
    Sept. 2nd 2017 is the date. Info is just above the Donate button.

    Best Regards, Pat

  4. Erin Allen
    December 15, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Potential participating authors, illustrators and poets must be nominated by their respective publishers. Preferred candidates are usually popular, nationally known authors, illustrators and poets who have won book awards at the national level. They also should have published a significant book recently. More than 300 qualified authors, illustrators and poets are nominated each year to participate and about 100 individuals are selected to present. The author nomination process for each year ends in March. You may submit nominations for next year’s festival via e-mail to [email protected] beginning in January. Please do not submit nominations between April 1 and Dec. 31.

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