A sure sign of fall in the District is the arrival of the annual National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress. In the experience of this book lover, the festival always happens to be held on a sweltering day or one that is muggy because it just poured buckets on everyone.
But tricky between-season weather doesn't stop many from attending the festival, as anyone venturing toward the National Mall on Saturday will see piles of people and piles of books. If it's your first time at the festival, here are a few tips:
- Stay hydrated. Friendly volunteers will most likely be passing out free bottled water, but it's best to take your own water bottle along to ensure consciousness throughout the day.
- Take snacks. Those little snack booths along the National Mall are not cheap.
- Consult the schedule. This may seem obvious, but there are so many readings and discussions and signings taking place that you need to have a tentative plan of attack.
- Arrive early. Author signing lines get cut off if they get too long, so you'll want to get a spot. For readings and discussions, the early arrivers will get a seat under the tent. All others will bake in the sun from standing, inevitably, just outside of the tent.
If you have other suggestions for making the most out of your day at the festival, let us know in the comments. Who are you looking forward to meeting this year?
Don't know much about this year's authors? Dont' fret; you can just vote in this lovely poll about festival posters. The posters are a pretty hot commodity each year, so put on your judging cap and decide which one from the past five years is the best. (Click on the small image to see the whole thing.)