|…better late than never…|
I can’t believe I went to my first National Book Festival 6 years agojust weeks into blogging. The festival has undergone quite some changes since that first time and it’s not just the fact that it’s indoors with a variety of concessions and indoor bathrooms.
National Book Festival has always been diverse, but what I really noticed was the diversity among the big name New York Times bestselling authors present. If you want an indicator that the hard work being done to advocate for diversity is working, look no further than National BookFest.
In 2011 a few of the big NYT bestseller names for teens and children were :
- Cassandra Clare
- Sarah Dessen
- Brian Selznick
- Katherine Patterson
And in 2017 the big NYT bestseller names for teens and children were :
- Nicola Yoon
- Marie Lu
- Melissa De Le Cruz
- Angie Thomas
- Sabaa Tahir
- Sanhya Menon
Despite the upheavals and disagreements, the people working to change the industry are making a big impact.
With that said, Kat and I arrived late in the afternoon and Kat got in line to get a copy of of Kadir Nelson’s Blue Sky White Stars signed while I hopped into the Marie Lu line to get the Legend comic book signed. Lu was just so cool and chill. They had to cut personalizations and photos to keep the line moving and when I got there Lu wanted to hold the book open and wait for the the ink dry before giving it back. Such a nice gesture considering how frantic it was.
I sprinted by the book sales and grabbed a copy of when Dimple Met Rishi. Let me tell you that book purchasing line can MOVE. The Politics and Prose staff were on point. Sandhya Menon was also nice and she had a holo glossy top coat on her nails. I wondered if she watchedSimplyNailogical because I’ve been binging her channel…
Anywho. After that Kat and I settled into the Angie Thomas line behind what I can only describe as dad/uncle/older man of the year who was tag teaming with the teen he was with to get all her YA books signed !
We missed the cut off for the Roxanne Gay event with Linda Holmes (here’s hoping it shows up on Pop Culture Happy Hour) before walking the 8 blocks back to the car and stopping at Milk for something sweet.
I still think something is missing from the festival. I mean the bathroom situation wasn’t great but I preferred it outside. It had more of a lively feel and there wasn’t just giant open space. I still think they should take a few notes from Baltimore Book Festival.