Open Book: A Festival for Readers. A book lover’s dream day with books and book swag, authors, book talks, readings, and weird and wonderful hand-on bookish experiences. 12 to 5 p.m., November 5 at Ferndale Events Center

This special event is free to the public. Read our news release here.

Biologist and Author Thor Hanson
Author and Biologist
Thor Hanson
Thor Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow and winner of the John Burroughs Medal. At Open Book, he will present “The Biology of Climate Change” and will answer your questions. His books include Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, Buzz, The Triumph of Seeds, Feathers, and The Impenetrable Forest, as well as the illustrated children’s favorite, Bartholomew Quill. Thor’s work has been translated into a dozen languages and earned many accolades. He lives with his wife and son on an island in the Pacific Northwest.
Award-Winning Poet Rena Priest
Award-winning Poet
Rena Priest
Rena Priest is an enrolled member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. She served as the sixth Washington State Poet Laureate (2021-2023) and was named the 2022 Maxine Cushing Gray Distinguished Writing Fellow. Her debut collection, Patriarchy Blues, received an American Book Award. Her second collection, Sublime Subliminal, was published as the finalist for the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. Her most recent book, Northwest Know-How: Beaches, includes poems, retellings of legends, and fun descriptions of 29 of the most beloved beaches in the Pacific Northwest.
Washington State Poet Laureate Adrianne True
Washington State Poet Laureate Arianne True
Arianne True (Choctaw, Chickasaw) is a queer poet and teaching artist from Seattle and has spent most of her work time working with youth. She’s received fellowships and residencies from Jack Straw, the Hugo House, Artist Trust, and the Seattle Repertory Theater, and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives near the Salish Sea with her cat. Arianne is the 2023-2025 Washington State Poet Laureate.
Author and Illustrator Phoebe Wahl
Author and Illustrator
Phoebe Wahl
Phoebe Wahl is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator, and surface designer whose work focuses on themes of comfort, fantasy, and intimacy with nature and one another. She grew up unschooled in Washington state and credits her free-range childhood in the Northwest for much of her inspiration and values. Her books include Sonya’s Chickens, Little Witch Hazel, The Blue House, Backyard Fairies, Paper Mice (written by Megan Wagner-Lloyd) and the recently published illustrated YA novel Phoebe’s Diary. Phoebe lives in Bellingham with her family and two rambunctious cats.
Local Authors Stage
Local Authors Stage
Connect with local authors and to find inspiration for your own writing.

Village Books Pop Up Shop
Village Books
You’ll find books and fun book swag for purchase!
Comics Place Pop Up Shop
Comics Place
Love Manga, comics and graphic novels? Swing by the Comics Place pop-up store.
Teen and Youth Stage
Teen & Youth Stage
Poetry readings, open mics, writing activities — drop by to see what’s happening.
Image of skater reading book
Other Activities
Fun activities all day that explore the world of books!


  • Meet award-winning authors
  • Connect with fellow writers in the Local Author Room
  • Try your hand at letterpress printing courtesy of Bison Bookbinding
  • Tour the Bookmobile and WTA Whatcomics bus
  • Learn how to get your book published
  • Attend poetry readings
  • Relax in the Reading Lounge
  • Join a Book Club
  • Learn how to mend books
  • Interact with braille and talking books
  • Attend a Silent Disco
  • Gather reading recommendations
  • Browse and buy bookish gifts

Sign up here to receive Open Book updates and exclusive sneak peeks.


At the request of a key event participant, we ask attendees to avoid using strong fragrances.


Nancy Pearl
Online one-on-one Book Chat with America’s Librarian Nancy Pearl. Nancy will create a list of book recommendations just for you! Enter to win at the Whatcom Literacy Council booth.
Ross Gay
Virtual Book Club Discussion with best-selling author Ross Gay. The beloved poet and essayist will meet online with your book club 3 p.m. PST Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024. Enter to win at the Book Club booth.
Phoebe Wahl
Phoebe Wahl Book Collection signed by the author and illustrator. Enter to win at the Youth Stage.

But wait, there’s more! Enter to win a WCLS Sasquatch book bag at the Friends of the Library booth. Drop your name in for a chance to win a copy of Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe at the Whatcom READS booth.

Need not be present to win featured door prizes. Winners will be notified.


Whatcom County Library System Logo
Village Books and Paper Dreams. Building community since 1980
Whatcom County Library Foundation logo


Ferndale Events Center
5715 Barrett Rd, Ferndale, WA 98248

Take exit 262 from I-5
Turn east onto W. Axton Road/Main St away from town
Turn left (north) onto Barrett Road
Turn left at “Event Center” sign
Destination is at west end of parking lot

Ferndale Events Center
Ferndale Events Center

Request Accommodations

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage and participate fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact our ADA Compliance Officer at least 72 hours in advance so that we may make any needed accommodations. Phone 360-305-3603, or email ADA@wcls.org.