You may be relaxing at the pool this summer with a fun thriller, but the Herculean task of planning the Library of Congress National Book Festival this fall is already underway. The literary extravaganza at the Washington Convention Center on Sept. 1 will include Jeffrey Eugenides, Roxane Gay, Dave Eggers, Kate DiCamillo and scores of other famous writers and illustrators for readers of all ages.

We’ll have much more information about the festival in the coming weeks — including a special guide in The Washington Post on Aug. 26 — but if you’d like to take a more active role, this is your chance. The Library of Congress is recruiting about 1,000 volunteers to help festivalgoers stay happy and informed throughout the day.

If you’re interested in volunteering, all you need to do is attend one of these 90-minute training sessions at the library (Register online or write to Faye Levin, the volunteer coordinator, at


• Tuesday, Aug. 28, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

• Thursday, Aug. 30, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

• Friday, Aug. 31, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers must commit to serving at least 4½ hours at the festival, but, believe me, that time will fly by as you direct more than 100,000 bookworms to their favorite authors (“There’s Louise Penny!”) and generally keep the activities humming along. (About a dozen Post reporters and editors — including the entire staff of Book World — will be there, too, to introduce and interview authors throughout the day.)

Levin, who has been working with festival volunteers since 2005, sees many of the same people coming back to help year after year. Among the letters she’s received from volunteers is one that began, “I just wanted to let you know that I woke up on Sunday, the day after the festival, and wished I could do the whole thing all over again.”

You can, you can!

Hope to see you there.

The Washington Post is a charter sponsor of the National Book Festival.

Ron Charles writes about books for The Washington Post, where he hosts the Totally Hip Video Book Review.