To the National Book Festival? I plan to. I have never been, but I've wanted to go for a couple of years now. In my likes-to-be-prepared way, I've printed out the schedule and highlighted the authors I'd like to see speak. I'm going with a friend, and I hope she chooses some authors she'd like to see as well. We may visit the Library of Congress. I've never been there either.
I find it heartening that this kind of festival is going on right now. In the midst of all the buzz about some guy in Missouri calling Laurie Halse Anderson's book Speak "soft pornography," followed by panicked book banning in schools, it's reassuring to know people are still embracing books. Of course, if you've read any kind of book blogs this week, you know the community of authors and librarians has jumped up to support Speak and everything it represents, which is basically the ability to stand up for yourself.
Just by coincidence, I've been listening to Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 this week on audio. It's about--get this--book burning. Yup. A dystopian world in which firefighters don't prevent or end fires, they start them. To burn the books. I can't help but wonder what Bradbury thinks of all this nonsense of one man trying to censor the books of a community.
Banned Books Week is next week. I bet every one of you reading this has read something that was banned in the last decade. Speak is already on that list, by the way. So if you can, celebrate by reading a banned book. Or even better, attend a book festival!