It started in early fall 2001, on September 8, just before the numbers 9-11 would become burned into US history. But on that sunny Saturday, tragedy had not yet struck and the bookish excitement of the very first National Book Festival swallowed up the Library of Congress and stretched out onto the National Mall.
I recently came back from a road trip through New England (which I've chronicled on a blog series I've called Traveling with the Travelers). However, right before leaving on the vacation, I became a book fairy. Instead of waiting until I returned home to Northern Virginia to start my book fairy adventures, I decided to spread book fairy dust along our trek up the coast.
Salem, Massachusetts is well known for one thing: witches. Those who have never seen the town often picture a tiny hamlet cluttered with decaying centuries old buildings and quaint stores hocking tarot cards and crystals. That is what my family and I imagined as we navigated up the eastern US coast to the historic port city. It wasn't what we found.
All good things must come to an end, even books. What happens when that end disappoints?
I took a children's literature class in college. It was a bit of a departure from my typical Shakespeare and Russian literature type subject matter. I chose it as a relief from some of those heavier texts and deep down I probably thought it would be easy.
In high school, although I was loathe to admit it to friends, I loved English class. Outwardly I complained like everyone else about the 'boring' books the teachers put on the reading lists. Inwardly I loved them.