Book Riot Live was this past weekend. I swear it wasn’t me procrastinating. We (my husband and I) didn’t get home from NYC until Tuesday and then Wednesday we had to take our oldest son to an EEG appointment. So here I am, finally decompressing. I still can’t believe it is already over. In short, it was a blast. Let’s see if we can compress it down. Otherwise you’ll just be reading me squee and gush the entire time (which sounds vaguely dirty, or maybe it’s just me).
- I got to finally be with book people. People I’d talked to on Twitter or Instagram. Book nerds whose eyes didn’t glaze over when recounting our favorites from the year. I got to finally meet my #booksandleggings crew, Elizabeth from Black, White & Red Books and Kristina, a Panels/Book Riot contributor. Then I met a few other new people. I helped form the newly christened Book Riot Girl Gang with the aforementioned Elizabeth and Amanda, another BR super fan. Apparently we were some of the first to get our registration done and we are all pretty active on the site.
- Meeting the Book Riot contributors! That was great. What was even better is that they recognized me. I was so anxious, yet right off the bat, as I walked up to the line, I see Preeti and Liberty and as I’m saying hi, I hear “I’m going to hug you now.” And it’s Amanda. It made me feel so welcome. I saw everyone and was warmly accepted. It was freaking beautiful. I actually met and hugged so many, it would be obscene to name them all and then you’d all be jealous. *wink*
- The panels were engaging, informative, and hilarious. I have a hard time choosing a favorite, but I’m leaning towards the Farm to Table panel that involved having an author, an agent, an editor, a cover designer, and a publicist talk about what goes into the book creating process. A close runner up would be the Get Booked podcast panel with Amanda (the BR Amanda!) and Sarah McLean prescribing romance and erotica books. It was fantastic.
- Finally meeting Kevin Smokler, who I interviewed on my now defunct podcast for his book Practical Classics. He was a great interviewee who was super patient with a newbie podcast host. There was a certain hilarity that Kevin lives in San Francisco, while I’m only two hours away in Santa Cruz, yet we meet face to face in New York.
- Eating a pizza with Kristina, Amanda, Elizabeth, and my husband in the back of Jeff O’Neal‘s Reading Lives panel because we didn’t want to miss anything. *Side note: Thanks to my magnificent husband who not only went and got the pizzas, but carried my books around and took pictures. He’s the best.
- Drinks in the Rare Book Room at The Strand. Just having a good time and acting like it’s no big deal when Daniel José Older is standing behind you or Book Riot staff just stop by to chat…Then the crazy drunken book shopping that followed. #noregrets
- Books! Free books. Bookish stuff. TOTES. The vendors were awesome.
- Last but not least, meeting all the authors. I have thoughts about meeting a legend like Margaret Atwood. It was definitely an experience that I’ll never forget, but the encounters I treasure the most and have thought about the most, were the ones I had with Sarah McLean, Beverly Jenkins, Alisha Rai, and Suleikha Snyder. I got to have real conversations with them, whereas talking to Margaret Atwood was a bit overwhelming. What does one say to a legend? Probably the same things I said to the other ladies, but I think there was a little “larger than life” element that came into play that makes us all act silly.
I’m sure I come off a little like a groupie, and I kind of said it on Twitter the other day, but I’d like to say it without the 140 character limit. The reason I’m so supportive and excited about Book Riot is because it’s what I would have loved and needed to have when I was growing up. I often felt ostracized for being a reader. And I wasn’t just any reader, but a voracious and introverted reader. Book Riot would have given me so much more self confidence to embrace my bookishness. I also would have had a broader sense of what being a reader was. So now that I’m an adult, it makes me happy to see that younger readers will have a source like Book Riot. That my kids could potentially have a Book Riot.
If you want to see my Book Riot Live pics, you can head over to Instagram.