The authors went home, the tents on the grounds of City Hall were folded and packed up â€” and the third annual Gaithersburg Festival ended.
Except that, a book festival, a really successful one, never ends. It goes on and on.
In one apartment, it is the glow of a Kindle or a Nook at night. In the house on the corner, itâ€™s the barely perceptible rustle of pages turning on a quiet weekend day. At your neighborâ€™s house, itâ€™s the sound of a cork popping free of a bottle as the monthly book club meeting begins.
People came. They met and talked to authors. They listened to them speak about writing. Now they are reading their books.
Book festivals take root and keep growing.
The truth is in the numbers, some say. According to Book Festival Chairman and Gaithersburg City Council member Jud Ashman, the number of people who visited the May 19 festival is estimated by staff to be between 15,000 and 18,000 â€” potentially â€ś50 percent more than last year.â€ť
â€śIt was a spectacular day,â€ť Ashman said. â€śI am still quite euphoric â€” and proud. â€¦ Our book festival is now a part of our literary, cultural landscape.â€ť
Ashman said the feedback from surveys of festival-goers has been positive.
â€śNinety-five to ninety-six percent say they are likely to attend again next year,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s hard to beat that.â€ť