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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
October 12, 2002

Closing Remarks by Mrs. Bush at the National Book Festival Opening Ceremony
As Delivered
The South Lawn

Thank you very much, Lucy (Tapahonso), and thanks everybody for your wonderful words.

Today, visitors to our nation's capitol will hear from gifted authors, poets, storytellers, actors, athletes and singers - and more! - whose books and fans span the globe. I am grateful to each of them for being a part of the National Book Festival.

I've been asked what I hope people will take home from this Festival. We have so much to gain from a celebration like this, because we are all readers and fans of the written word.

Our love of reading is what makes us tuck a paperback under our arm on the way to work; it's why our bedside tables include piles of books that we read before we fall asleep.or continue reading long after we should be asleep; it's why we surf the Internet over a steaming cup of coffee on a Saturday morning.

As busy as we shall be today, and as busy as we are in general - let this Festival remind us of the pure joy of the bookworm - the one who sits in a quiet chair and focuses on just one thing.devouring a story or argument or idea unfolding on the written page.

Dotsoyevski said, "Neither man nor nation can exist without a sublime idea." Today, reading is our sublime idea.

Thanks to the readers and speakers on stage; the authors and the athletes in our audience. I appreciate you for helping weave the magic of words, wit and wisdom through this Festival.

I especially want to recognize all of this year's sponsors, with special thanks to our charter sponsors and patrons:


The Washington Post




James Madison Council

Open Russia Foundation

Their generosity, as well as the generosity of our Contributors and Friends, helped make this event possible.

Thank you for joining us at the White House, and thank you for being a part of the Second National Book Festival.

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