If you’re planning to check out the National Book Festival, I’ve got some tips to help you out. Hello! Welcome to Trip Hacks DC. My name is Rob. I’m a tour guide here in the nation’s capital. If you’re coming to Washington DC and you’re looking for the best tips, tricks, and hacks for exploring the city, make sure to subscribe to this channel, and hit the bell notification icon so that you don’t miss any new videos; and if you’re interested in signing up for a Trip Hacks DC tour, head on over to www.triphacksdc.com afterwards, to see the tours that I offer. Every year the Library of Congress hosts the National Book Festival here in Washington, DC. It’s a celebration of books, authors, and libraries of all kinds. The festival was started in 2001 by first lady Laura Bush, a librarian herself. The first festival took place on the lawn near the Capitol and the Library of Congress. The next year it was moved to the National Mall; and in 2014, for the first time, they moved it indoors to the Washington Convention Center. Which honestly, between the summer heat and the risk of storms, was probably for the best. The festival usually takes place in early September. So make sure to check out www.loc.gov/bookfest for this year’s exact date. If you’ve been to the National Book Festival before, leave a comment on this video and let everyone know your tips and hacks for attending. Otherwise, let’s get started… 1. Plan Ahead. The first thing that you’re going to want to do is go to the National Book Festival website and see exactly what you might want to do. If you’ve never been before, it’s hard to emphasize just how many people are going to be there. There are usually tens of thousands of people who attend this one-day festival. The 2013 festival alone had an estimated 200,000 people there. That’s more than the population of some cities! So if you walk into the convention center with no plan, you’re going to feel completely overwhelmed. 2. Download the app. The National Book Festival has a pretty decent official app that you should definitely download and use. It has all kinds of useful information, like the schedule, authors in attendance, a map of the Convention Center, information about where to go for book signings, and when you can see certain author talks. And the way more. If you do want to go to an author talk, it’s really important to know exactly when it’s happening and where, and if you’re trying to get a copy of a book signed by an author, you can either bring your own or buy one there. Now, if you want multiple copies signed that is going to be up to each individual author. After all, you will quickly discover how long some of the lines are, and it’s really not fair for an author to have to sign 20 books when they’ve got hundreds of people in line. And on a related note, if you’ve never been to our Convention Center before, it is huge. So make sure you wear your best pair of walking shoes and plan on doing a lot of walking. 3. Ask the volunteers. Even once you’ve got the app, a brochure, and all your other materials, it’s still gonna feel like there’s a lot going on. The good news is that the Library of Congress recruits a small army of volunteers to help out every year; and the whole reason why they are there is to help you. So don’t feel shy about asking. The volunteers will have matching shirts and carry around matching signs, so it’s pretty hard to miss them. 4. Skip the festival food. The food vendors inside the convention center are honestly pretty ordinary – sandwiches, pizza, and other kinds of fast food – but the biggest reason why you shouldn’t plan to eat here is because of the lines. With so many people in attendance the lines get ridiculously long; and once you even have your food there’s often not even enough space for people to sit down and eat. Personally, sitting on the floor to eat my lunch is not my idea of a good time. So a good hack is to eat beforehand or plan to visit a restaurant nearby afterwards. And that’s it! Thank you for watching this video, if you found it helpful, you can subscribe to this channel by clicking on the Trip Hacks DC logo which is popping up right now at the bottom of the screen. And if you’re coming to DC and want to sign up for a Trip Hacks DC tour, you can click on the Capitol dome on the left side of my head, That’ll send you over to www.triphacksdc.com where you can see all of the tours that I offer. Enjoy your trip!