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Thursday, June 4, 2015

#GBF15: A Small Town Festival With a Big Celebration of Books

This post has taken me awhile to put together (twins, you know) but I couldn't not talk about the amazing Gaithersburg Book Festival that I attended on May 16th. After attending for the first time last year, I decided to volunteer to be on the committee so I got to watch this year's festival take shape, which made attending this year even cooler! The Gaithersburg Book Festival is a one day event that takes place in May every year. The committee works really hard to get an amazing caliber of authors from all different genres to speak (and sign books!!!) every year. There's also tons of other activities to include book sales (yes!), workshops, and lots of fun literary related activities for the kiddos!

Gaithersburg sits just outside of Washington, D.C. and while D.C. gets a lot of literary events, they can be sort of hard to get to. The nice thing about the Gaithersburg Book Festival is that it is close enough to the city to be accessible but far enough away to feel like an escape. 

I was soooo excited about so many of the authors that were speaking. I didn't get to see even close to all of the authors that I wanted to see speak but I loved seeing everyone I did get to see! I even got pictures with some of the authors that I got books signed by and then in something resembling a blogger's worst nightmare, my phone (a.k.a. my camera/ my Facebook status-er, and my Twitter-er) ran out of battery so I didn't get all of the pictures/ statuses/ tweets out that I wanted to. C'est la vie!

Here's what I did get though:

Bryan Voltaggio was there! He happens to have grown up in the same town that I grew up in: Frederick, MD. He opened his first restaurant there and now he has several restaurants. Frederick is an absolutely charming town whose downtown area has been greatly revitalized in the last 10-15 years. I believe a lot of that is to the credit of restaurants and stores like Voltaggio's Volt. He was one of the first ones to take a chance in opening a great restaurant in an area that needed a bit of TLC.

Bryan Voltaggio and I.
I got to meet Alice Eve Cohen, author of "The Year My Mother Came Back!"

Alice Eve Cohen and I.

Reader indoctrination starts early in the A Bookish Affair household. My husband and I read a lot to our girls when they were still in utero. Now that they are here, we read to them every night and I am keen to turn them into little bookworms. I really wanted to get some books signed for them. Michelle Knudsen is the author of a few children's books including "Library Lion" and "Marilyn's Monster." Both books are ridiculously adorable! Matt Phelan is the illustrator of "Marilyn's Monster." I got signed copies of both books for my girls!

Michelle Knudsen, me, and Matt Phelan.

I also got to introduce a couple authors, which was really cool. I introduced Alexandra Robbins and David O. Stewart! I was so excited to introduce both of them as I had an opportunity to read their latest books (For Robbins, "The Nurses" and for Stewart, "Madison's Gift") and interview them for the GBF website. Here are the links to the Robbins interview and the Stewart interview if you're interested.

Here I am introducing Alexandra Robbins.

Here's Alexandra Robbins.

Here's David O. Stewart.
And then my phone died. Ugh. But the memories of a really good day live on. I got more books signed for my girls, including "Shiloh" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. That book was a childhood favorite of mine! I got books signed by Sarah Pekkanen and Erika Robuck. In total, I got 14 books signed! It was a fantastic day!

The Gaithersburg Book Festival is definitely one of my favorite literary events because it's intimate. A lot of signings and other literary events that I have been to are huge and you don't ever really get a chance to say hi to the author or to talk with them. I definitely got a chance to do a lot of that at this festival. I can't wait until next year!

What is your most favorite literary event that you have ever been to?

1 comment:

  1. I would love going to literary events like everyday :) I'm Italian and in my town there are two big events in summer. This year two of the guests were Patrick McGrath and the grandson of Hemingway! Unfortunately this year I couldn't attend the event, but last years I did and it was fantastic.


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