This is why, family in tow, I headed into the Nation's Capital yesterday to check out some good books and the writer's who wrote them.
We wandered through the white-tented pavilions, stopping at the Fiction & Mystery tent where Khaled Hosseini spoke to a standing room only audience.
"Maybe you'll be speaking there next year, Mom," my daughter said.
"If that ever happens, I'll save you a front row seat," I promised her.
My husand found his niche underneath the History & Biography tent where he caught a snippet of Evan Thomas.
We all stopped to ponder a white board that invited us to think about 'Books That Changed the World'. Green Eggs and Ham was on the list, as was The Great Gatsby. My son included Captain Underpants and, after a lot of measured thought, my daughter included the Bible.
The thing that probably holds true for any book festival, is that the under eleven crowd quickly loses steam. Even though I'm eleven years into parenting, my offspring's need to eat at regular intervals still catches me off guard.
We were suddenly, as these things alway seem to happen, in rubberlimbed, meltdown territory.
Child #2 informed me he couldn't take another step. We hurried off the mall in search of nutrition where we were, literally, waylaid by a parade.
It's amazing how quickly a parade can make a person forget he's just claimed he is close to dying and CAN'T EVEN MOVE HE'S SO HUNGRY!
Especially when the parade participants were dressed in costumes like these!
Fortunately, for everyone, sustenance in the form of celebratory Latin Day street food was located on the other side of Constitution Avenue.
Hunger pains and sit-in style protests against overzealous mothers who spend too long at book fairs were both successfully averted.
As we drove home, I realized we all have memories of childhood activities we did at the whim of our parents. I can't help but wonder if book fairs will be something my adult children will avoid like the plague.
Or whether, twenty years from now, they too will find tables heaped with books and surrounded by the people who wrote them, fascinating enough to make food irrelevant.