Finding your people... Book Riot Live
Last Spring, I was staring at a website... obsessively refreshing even though I knew registration didn't open until 11am. And my c̶r̶a̶z̶i̶n̶e̶s̶s̶ persistence paid off when at 10:58am, I was able secure my spot at Book Riot Live.
Book Riot has felt like my book spirit animal since shortly after it's inception. Finally a book site that wasn't trying to be highbrow, snobby or ironic. No hipster beards, manbuns or JFranz lovers here (alright, alright , I'm okay with the beards and muns... but I draw the line at Franzen). This site is full of geeking out performed by self-proclaimed, out-and-proud book nerds that have given up on trying to hide their love of ALL literature (not just the dead white guys). I laugh/yell at my speakers while listening to their podcast and have teared up when an author relived their own path to bookwormdom on their acclaimed Reading Lives series. I've learned things and disagreed with things and they've inspired me to write blog posts that I previously wouldn't have attempted. Thinking I'm likely the only person in the world who cares about the topic.
So when I heard that they were planning their very first reader convention for November 2015, MY BODY WAS READY!
And this weekend did not disappoint.
Having a cocktail in hand while speaking to Margaret Atwood in the middle of the Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore.
Listening to amazing authors such as Margaret Atwood (did I mention I met her?), N.K. Jemisin, Sarah MacLean, Angela Flournoy, Myke Cole, Sara Novic and so many others speak on writing, books and their own experience as lifelong book nerds.
Getting to be in the audience as my two favorite book podcasts were recorded.
Receiving tons of awesome book-related merch... free books, bookmarks, magnets. And you know a book nerd can't walk away from a book-related event without at least 2 more totebags!
Meeting people I respect who have managed to make a career for themselves doing exactly what I would do if I could design any career in the world for myself... geeking out over books for a living. And finding those same people totally engaged and just as excited as you. And I may have felt a bit like a rockstar when most of them knew who I was! [Maybe I spend too much time on Twitter. Nah, that can't be it.]
Having a fabulous conversation with bestselling romance author (and all around brilliant chick) Sarah MacLean and having her swipe one of the Post-it notes for the Atwood signing so she could provide me (a romance virgin) some personalized "where to start" recommendations (and no, she's a classy lady, she didn't recommend herself. I would have if I were in her position!)
Do you understand I met Margaret Atwood?
But in the end, the best part of my weekend at Book Riot Live...
Getting to be with my people.
Finally getting to meet in person people I've gotten to "know" over social media. Getting to geek out with those people. Getting to feel like, for once, I was in a room with people who don't think it's crazy to be reading six books at once. People who don't ever respond "wow... I just can't find the time to read. I'm too busy for books." People who understand the overwhelming stress whenever another amazing book is published... even though you currently have 175 books sitting in your TBR pile. People who understand trying to eek out any time throughout the day to get some reading in. People who give amazing recommendations because they don't just recite off the 3 top selling books that have the most publicity surrounding them at that particular moment. People who understand the importance of a good tote bag.
People who just completely GET how it is that books can make you the person you are.
A special shout-out to my BRLive buddies Karena and Amanda. Two awesome, funny, smart chicks I finally got to know outside of Twitter... and they were even better in person. Bookish friends make the bestest friends. [I also ganked a bunch of their photos as my phone has been dying a slow death and took it's last breath shortly before I left BRLive. Thanks to my BR Girl Gang!]