Armchair BEA! Day 3: Real Life Bookish Experiences

Good morning guys! It’s Wednesday, day 3 – how ya holdin up?

Here’s the topic for today…

Today’s suggested writing topic…we’d love for you to share a positive “real life” experience with books! Either by way of your own partnerships in your community, a book signing you went to or possibly even a get together with fellow book bloggers. Tell us all about it!

Ummm… to say that I haven’t really had any bookish “experiences” is kind of an understatement. I haven’t really worked with any local authors or gone to any major bookish events. And the only author signing I went to was like 7 years ago. So let’s talk about that.

Well, around that time Hotel Rwanda and Sometimes in April had come out and were big movies – everyone was suddenly rediscovering the Rwandan genocide, including me. (In all fairness, I was 7 when the genocide occured.) Anyways, it was an interesting topic and I did read a couple books about it. One of which was…

This book by Romeo Dallaire. So when I heard that he was comming to my local college as the keynote speaker for an event about the Rwandan genocide, I grabbed a friend and went. And here’s what I remember…

  • There was a really annoying pig-faced girl standing in line ahead of us to get in, who was really loud and I just really wanted to kick her. When I started working at Waldenbooks about a year or so later, I learned that she had also worked there and that my instincts were right – she annoyed everybody.
  • The event was kind of long and other random students talked more than the author got to.
  • I got in line to get my book signed, but started to get nervous about meeting a REAL author and almost just left.
  • I did get my book signed and Romeo Dallaire was nice, but the rest is all a blur.

And this is why even though I WANT to go to major bookish events and meet ALL THE AUTHORS, I know I would be nervous and giddy and probably hardly remember any of it anyways.

For serious though, I need to go to more things. But there are hardly EVER book signings in my area (laaaame) and you know, it costs money to travel so I don’t get to do it a lot. Someday dammit, someday.

SO, what are some of your real life bookish happenings, hmm? I bet they’re better than mine!




  1. Actually, my experiences are pretty much like yours. I go to our state librarians conference and that’s about it. I should find some signings to go to, but I don’t make an effort. I heard Ellen Hopkins one year at our conference (she was awesome!) but didn’t even bother to stand in line for her to sign a book–so you did better than I did! Have a great day! My BEA Post


  2. Hahaha, mine is so not a better experience. I kind of even bored myself with it, soooo… we can probably just all ignore it! I would say though that I really think I’d get super duper nervous if I was going to meet a real author, so it would be both a good AND bad experience, I reckon.


  3. I am jealous because this book is one of my favourites (not because of the subject matter, but because of how powerful it is). Have you seen the documentary about Dallaire (I think it’s also called Shake Hands With The Devil)? It’s worth a watch.


  4. I’ve actually never been to a book signing! I just started work at the book store, so none have happened yet while I’ve been on duty. Too bad I mostly read classic writers. They probably won’t be signing my books. 😛


  5. I love going to book signings. And I haven’t even been to all that many, but they are just so much fun! I’ve seen the same authors a couple of times (either at their own signings, or signings for other authors) and even though I’m on friendly terms with them, I still feel a little tongue tied. Authors truly are my rock stars.


  6. I live in a major metropolitan area and have plenty of opportunities for book signings…I just don’t get out to do it much 😛 I have, though, been three times to the National Book Festival in Washington DC (local for me). I’ve been able to meet several authors that way, but boy, does it require patience! Me, and 500,000 of my closest friends 😉


  7. Your memories of that girl made me chuckle, especially that others knew who it was that was and thought she was annoying too. 🙂 I live just far enough away from book events that I have to travel too. There are a lot at Powell’s up in Portland, but I live an hour and a half away and the events are always on week nights – not practical! I wrote about my experiences at the Tucson Festival of Books in my post.


  8. I don’t live in an area where authors tend to come. The closest place is at least 45 minutes away and anything that’s good is usually in the winter and I hate driving on the winter roads!

    I wish more events would happen here … Though you’re right — it is costly. In fact, just being a reader is costly! I wish I could just use the library, but I adore book stores and shopping for books.

    I’m not sure I’d have the patience for meeting authors … there’s one event coming in August with some awesome big-name authors, but I’m sure there’s going to be a LOT of people in attendance. I might go just to say I went and to get some autographs, which would be cool.


  9. You worked at Walden books! That sorta counts as IRL bookish experience? Kinda? Maybe? I guess not so much for networking as it was to make money not to be homeless but still.


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