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You can’t go three feet on the Internet without reading about the death of the book. No one is buying novels anymore. Bookstores will soon be obsolete. In the not so distant future, people will consume all of their content in Twitter-length bursts delivered directly into their cerebellums by nanobots. But if you go offline to spend an afternoon at the library, enjoying a café latte at Politics & Prose, or even riding the Metro (y’all ever rode on the Metro?), then you’ll see firsthand evidence that people still love books–even if everyone seems to be reading only Steig Larsson or Mockingjay. And if you head out to Fairfax beginning today through Friday, you’ll see even further evidence of a book-loving public at the Fall for the Book festival.
This year, well over 100 authors, including fiction writers, poets, biographers, political junkies, cookbookers, YA aficionados, and more will be giving readings, talking on panels, and holding signings. Authors on hand include the winner of this year’s Fairfax Prize, Ann Patchett, and this year’s Mason Prize winner, Greg Mortenson, as well as Rick Moody, Jane Smiley, and local mystery writer Ellen Crosby (for a full list of participants click here; some of the events are in the District). There will also be a slew of book sales, book swaps, and book drives for biblio-lovers of all stripes. Here’s the complete rundown of how to spend your time proving that books aren’t dead.
So the next time someone at a cocktail party blithely tells you “Books are, like, so dead,” tell them to take a trip out to Fairfax. Then hit them in the face with your copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.