Book lovers flock to National Mall

Oct. 9, 2004 at 9:48 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Some 85,000 people jammed the National Book Festival in Washington Saturday for book signings by some of the nation's top writers.

The event on the National Mall, sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush, put readers together with authors Clive Cussler, Marc Brown, Anna Quindlen, Joyce Carol Oates, Douglas Brinkley, Nicholas Sparks and others. Best-selling novelist Neil Gaiman signed more than 500 books throughout the day, a Library of Congress news release said.

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared with other NBA and WNBA stars at a children's pavilion to support the "Read to Achieve" program, and the "History and Biography" pavilion featured a discussion about the civil rights movement between Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and National Public Radio correspondent Juan Williams.

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