So, my fellow book lovers… What are your bookish travel plans this summer?
That time the authors roamed the Earth
Author interview: Amor Towles
Such as this: In his new book A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles completely invented the scene in which the electrical grid is powered up in segments throughout the city. (I totally can’t wait to read this book, and only partly because it takes place in a luxury hotel. But mostly because Rules of Civility rocked my world.)
This can be scary, my friends.
Authors. I know they’re people just like us, but seriously: scary.
So, thank you, authors of BEA 2016, for your kind forbearance.
My favorite book signing experience was when Jane Hamilton — such a gracious and lovely human! — signed a copy of The Excellent Lombards. I adore her books, and I like her every bit as much. Since she is a remarkably nice person, we had a normal human conversation (though it lasted too long for her assistant, who started hustling the line along. Sorry, Katie! I’m still feeling bad about that.) Years ago, Jane Hamilton had spoken at the library where I worked, and we were reminiscing, I was gushing, it was maybe a little weird on my part.
Encountering an author in the wild
We ended up walking to the El station, which was nearer than I’d realized. I asked him what brought him to BEA, and he said he was a journalist.
Then he said something that made me realize he was also an author, and I asked his name.
I had been directionally rescued by a bestselling, award-winning mystery author.
I did a mild freak-out, then calmed down and requested photographic evidence of this episode (because that’s normal behavior; see “authors freak me out,” above).
At BEA, not only are there authors all over the exhibit floor, but they’re also unleashed on the wider world to wander at will. You May Encounter Them In The Wild.
Charles Finch: not only an excellent writer, but also a thoroughly nice human being
The random author encounter: pure serendipity
But I gotta say: it’s all about the people.
The book bloggers who are now friends in real life, the librarians who swapped stories and tips, the authors who withstood the onslaught of our nervous admiration, and back again to the bloggers and librarians who understand exactly what we mean when we say, “I met [famous author person] and it was amazing, even though I made a complete fool of myself. I think I’m gonna go hide somewhere now.”
We’re right there with ya.
*and also Julie of JulzReads, but I think she was off on one of her marathon autographing sprees that made us all marvel
That time I carried my weight in books
|Partway through Day 1|
|End of Day 3|
Side note: Thank goodness for eGalleys. They Weigh Nothing!
(NetGalley: you guys make my world a more beautiful thing.)
That time I met the bloggers
|So much fun! Daily Dosage, JulzReads, Words for Worms, Unruly Reader|
Y’all also made my TBR grow to massive proportions. (Not sure how I feel about that…)*
We got to tramp around the miles of McCormick Place together & talk books & give each other reading suggestions & laugh a lot.
And then they wrote amazing wrap-up posts like this (Katie, we’re looking at you!) and this (Julie: so doggone organized, it’s freaking me out!) and this (Marisa, who fully captured the joy of the shared BEA experience).
OK, so this is just Part 1 of “why BEA was so doggone amazing.” Stay tuned for more.
*just kidding — I’m all about the mammoth TBR
Karma at the Little Free Library
I’ll peruse it while belting down some super-charged black coffee.
Bookish Tourist: Unabridged Bookstore
Then it got even more intense: a display of previous nonfiction bestsellers, oodles of shelf talkers in the fiction area, a display of their top 35 favorites of 2015 (each book with a shelf talker), and scattered shelf talkers throughout every area of the store.
And we lingered a really long time.
In which I visit the NYPL and get scolded
On my friends’ and my recent New York ladies’ night out (times 3, plus days), we visited the New York Public Library because we had a librarian in our midst.
And two recovering English majors.
It wasn’t a hard sell.
We were greeted by the lions.
Or maybe it’s Fortitude.
Then we went inside and I got verklempt upon reading this statement.
And we scouted around until we found the famous reading room.
And I took lots of photos.
…including photos of the glamorous ceiling.
Then I tried to take a photo of their other lovely reading room — the one you can’t photograph* (yeah, that one) — and I got all library-cop-scolded and halted in my tracks.
Yes, people, I had the full NYPL experience.
I got Bookmanned.
So then I scuttled outside in abject shame.
But Patience (or Fortitude) didn’t harbor hard feelings.
*I swear I didn’t know. I did the thing people do and completely missed the sign.
Bookshops of the Netherlands
Libraries of the Netherlands, Book 2
visit to the Netherlands, my
friend and I took a day trip to Utrecht.
My friend’s destination: Centraal Museum. She’s an artist, so she knows museums, and she couldn’t say enough good things about this one. If we’re lucky, maybe she’ll write about it in the Comments.
And there was a windmill in their neighborhood, which only caused further glee.
Then: back to Amsterdam, where we visited elegant old canal houses that contained libraries of their own.
And the sort of book we all can identify with…
*unless I decide to post photos of bookshops
Libraries of the Netherlands, Book 1
And the magazine section…
And an out-of-control librarian from the States straightening their beautifully-lit shelves.