National Press Club

Top Authors Draw Big Crowds for Book Fair

November 20, 2009

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Top pols, pundits and cultural legends brought a spillover crowd of nearly 1,000 book lovers s to the 32nd Annual Book Fair & Authors' Night Nov. 17.

Even with a few last-minute cancellations, the Book Fair included a robust lineup of nealy 100 authors, including Ann Coulter, Kinky Friedman, Gwen Ifill, Jim Lehrer, Isabelle Gilles, Ken Auletta, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Henry Waxman, and Top Chef's Spike and Carla.

Authors filled the Holeman Lounge and the Ballroom, chatting with visitors and signing copies of their books. LiveTwitter feeds from both authors and fans were projected on an overhead screen, creating a running conversation of the evening's highlights (and bringing in a few visitors who were following the tweets).

Two camera crews from C-SPAN interviewed authors; highlights will be shown on Book TV.

Several authors reported selling out before the evening ended.

Cookbook authors dished up tasty samples of meatless meals, freshly baked bread and Indian carrot soup, with one while performing magic tricks.

Dozens of Press Club volunteers and colleagues donated their time to staff the authors. Volunteers provide a great help in restocking book displays, fetching new pens and keeping lines organized and friendly.

The Book Fair is a fundraiser for the Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library and supports the Library's ongoing mission to provide research and professional development for journalists. An estimate on the net income of the event will be available soon.

Alma Powell was honorary chairwoman, and through the book fair the Library began a partnership with The SEED Foundation, which prepares underserved students for college success at two public boarding schools in the District and Maryland. Students from The SEED Foundation brought their wish list of library books for their new Maryland campus, and all 130 books were purchased during the event.

Book Fair Committee Chairwoman Lisa Mascaro offered a special thanks to the sponsors, the State Department Federal Credit Union and The Hill newspaper; the volunteers; committee members; and the staff.