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National Book Festival: 10th Annual National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Former First Lady Laura Bush takes the podium to speak during Heart2Heart: An Evening with Laura Bush, a dinner to benefit Mandarin Christian School's capital campaign, at the University of North Florida University Center, in Jacksonville, Fla., Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Jon M. Fletcher)

The National Book Festival is underway from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. today in our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., on the mall between Third and Seventh Streets.

The National Book Festival is an offshoot of the Texas Book Festival, which was started in 1995 by former first lady Laura Bush. The idea was to celebrate  the joy of reading and to aid the public library system.


In 2001, Bush helped co-found the National Book Festival. Last year’s event drew more than 130,000 people.

Famous authors have visited the National Book Festival in the past. Some of the scribes to stop by include Tom Wolfe, John Irving, Sue Grafton, R.L. Stine and Sandra Brown. President Obama and his wife Michelle are the honorary chairs of the festival. Laura Bush herself will also be present at this year’s Festival, which marks the 10th anniversary of the yearly event.

In May, billionaire investor David Rubenstein pledged $5 million to continue the festival in the future.

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