This Saturday (September 2nd) I went to DC to go to the annual Book Festival at the Washington Convention Center. I really wanted to go because Diana Gabaldon was going to be there and she wrote one of my favorite series of all time, Outlander. I was lucky enough to have her sign one of my books but the line was a mess and I feel bad for all those who weren’t able to.
This was the first large scale book festival that I’ve been to and overall it was a great experience. I didn’t really go to any of the smaller panels or talks because I was either at the main stage or sitting in a book signing line. As someone who reads primarily young adult literature, there weren’t very many popular YA writers there. This was a little bit of a disappointment but it was never advertised as a YA book festival so I wasn’t really that annoyed or anything.
I think the only thing about this event that made me a little mad was how they organized everyone standing in line for Diana Gabaldon’s signing. The volunteers were snaking people around and everyone got so jumbled that people who hadn’t been waiting long were jumping in front of those who had been. I only saw this happen like three times so it wasn’t a common thing but I just think they would have been more prepared for such a large amount of people, especially because she was one of the main authors.
Now back to the things that I liked. I was really happy to see so many people with purple shirts and signs that said “ask me” because it’s a really big convention center and anyone could get lost. I had to ask where things were more than once and every person I talked to was sweet and took the time to explain exactly where I should go. I also really liked having so many places to sit because after carrying around five books and all the swag from the tables that were on the ground floor, my shoulder felt like it was going to fall off. As I was there alone, I was carrying all my things and being able to sit in an actual chair was amazing.
I can definitely see myself going to this event again in the future and I’d definitely say that if you’re in the DC area that this is a really cool event to go to. Of course, it does depend on which authors are going but so far they’ve had amazing line ups for everyone. They have adult novelists, politicians, children’s authors and young adult authors. There really is something for everyone and I really liked that about this festival.