National Book Festival: At the Virginia Booth

Rainy Saturday, scores of authors in every genre, and 100,000 book-lovers (give or take) at the Library of Congress National Book Festival today.

In previous years, I planned my trip to the Festival to hear talks by authors, including Geraldine Brooks, Margo Jefferson, and Sandra Cisneros. This year, I never made it past the Exhibit Hall, where I volunteered at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities booth.

U.S. states and territories each have a booth in the "Pavilion of the States," i.e. one part of the cavernous hall. The Junior League gave out maps. Children (and others) went from booth to booth, collecting stamps on their maps, as well as stickers, magnets, bookmarks, and the like.

I expected a reasonably quiet time, but as you can see, I miscalculated. The aisles could barely contain the crowd.

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At the beginning of our shift, another volunteer named Tricia and I look pretty fresh and ready to go. Then, to work. We stamped maps and told people about the Virginia Festival of the Book (March 21-25, 2018, in Charlottesville).

In addition, each state chose a book to display. Ours was a children's book, Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You Some Pie by Robbin Gourley, about the African American, Virginia-born, later-famous chef Edna Lewis.

We distributed a recipe from the book for Apple Brown Betty ("great to use when you go apple-picking this fall," as I said a few hundred times) and temporary tattoos in the shape of a skillet, an illustration inside the book.

The recipe:

 Edna Lewis emphasized the importance of traditional methods of growing and preparing food, and bringing ingredients from field to table--years ago.

Edna Lewis emphasized the importance of traditional methods of growing and preparing food, and bringing ingredients from field to table--years ago.

Also downstairs--children's readings and performances, photo opps, displays and talks by the Library of Congress, White House Historical Association, Washington Post, and others; and book sales and signings. 

 

 

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