Tuesday, January 20, 2009

an appeal to the new first lady

Dear Mrs. Obama,

On this Inauguration Day, I write to express my sincere welcome to you and your family and best wishes as you assume your new role as First Lady of our country. May you be joyful in and dedicated to this role. May God bless you with wisdom and humility as you serve our country. May you model the way for others with dignity and grace. May you continue the wonderful tradition of celebrating the joy of reading that Laura Bush began in 2001 by establishing the National Book Festival...

What??

Yes, I also write with a very specific request: the National Book Festival should live on despite Mrs. Bush's departure.

Last September, I vowed to lobby the new First Lady regarding the continuation of this magnificent event, and what better time to start than your first day on the job?

As you may know, this event, co-sponsored by the Office of the First Lady and the Library of Congress for the past eight years, drew nearly 100,000 attendees annually to celebrate the joy of reading. The cadre of up-and-coming and established authors, illustrators, and poets appealed to people of all backgrounds and ages. The festival focused on the importance of reading in everyday life and showcased myriad ways to make reading fun, especially for children. And what better way to establish healthy, lifelong habits in our children than to draw national attention to and celebrate such simple, yet important, pastimes: reading and writing?! Lure children and adults away from their televisions and computers for a day. Breathe the crisp fall air and admire the beauty of our nation's capitol while enjoying good books and fellowship with other book lovers. Meet and celebrate the authors who satisfy our literary appetites and keep us constantly craving more. Motivate aspiring authors with exposure to and advice from sage and accomplished writers. Encourage all citizens to reflect on books that have touched their lives. Demonstrate the power and benefits of effective writing. I cannot think of a better way to spend a fall Saturday in DC. What a treat!

Mrs. Obama, I humbly request that you sustain the National Book Festival. Even though you didn't create this event, I implore you to continue and even build upon this wonderful national tradition.

With utmost sincerity and many thanks,

Dr. Blondie

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