For the 17th time, book lovers and authors gathered in Washington yesterday for the National Book Festival.
Here are some thoughts and observations.
- The media world needs more people like Peter Slen, CSPAN’s BookTV host and Executive Producer. He checks his ego at the door, lets his guest talk, and doesn’t commit a journalists worst sin — becoming a news story instead of helping to tell one.
- Children and young adults love the festival. They turned out in droves and stood in long lines to get their copy signed.
- David McCollough said his next book will focus on pioneers of the Northwest Territory. And get this — he still uses a typewriter.
- Some writers are brilliant authors, but have no desire to speak in public, much less the talent to do so. So it’s a treat to hear someone like Michael Lewis who can do both quite well.
- The one ding, however, at least for some observers, might be his use of “colorful language.” He used the "s" word at least once. Due to the live feed, C-SPAN was not able to bleep it out. Interesting, however, that while C-SPAN Radio did not air his portion, BookTV did.
- A million thanks to all the volunteers, especially those holding up “Ask Me” signs. They were everywhere and very helpful.
- Love me some Starbucks, but for some reason it was good to see Compass Coffee replace them near the entrance to the convention center.
- Condoleezza Rice worked for the other side, but there is a lot to admire about her. Godspeed mam!
- In our connected digital age, the folks at the Lost and Found booth, while still necessary, seem as lonely as the Maytag repairman…
- Long time attenders like Roberta and I miss going to the festival when it was held on the Mall, but the Convention Center is much better. The short walk from Metro is all covered, the bathrooms and handicap access much better, and no one got wet from the three-fourth inches of rain.
- We as a society admire actors, musicians, entertainers, sports players, artists, personalities and the like. I do too, but to me the highest praise goes to those who sometimes spend years researching and writing a book. Without their truth-telling and worlds created, our world would be hollow...