Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What I will do for books

If you have been reading me for any length of time, you know I am a book nerd, or book geek, or whatever you preferred designation. At the start of the year, I set a goal of reading 110 books this year; I blew past that in September or October. My to-read shelf at Goodreads has almost 600 books on it (I keep reading books on it, but then I find a like a particular author, and have to add everything else they wrote, or the author mentions an author that was influential for them, and I have to go and add that author...). I read author blogs, follow authors on Twitter, read Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal (those two are ostensibly for work purposes, but really, they just feed my habit). All of this is to say, yes, I am a wee bit obsessed with books.

So it should come as no surprise that I drove 3 hours each direction to Memphis this past Saturday, just to hear Cherie Priest talk for an hour at a book store to promote her most recent book, Ganymede. She is definitely one of my favorite authors right now, and while I read her blog and twitter feeds (and feel a little like a stalker whenever I reply to something), I had never seen her in person.* My dad saw her at a book event in Seattle and told me that she reminded him of me (by which I think basically, he meant that she is a smart, snarky female, but hey, whatever). Since book tours are pretty rare these days for any author who is not also a great personage, I jumped at the chance to see her, even though it did mean 6 hours in the car.

Not that driving 6 hours just for book-related activities is unheard of in my family. One summer, when Benjamin and I were living with my parents, Mom, Dad and I (Benjamin refused to be crammed in a car for 6 hours with all three of us, just for a bookstore run - probably wise), drove the three hours from Seattle to Portland, just to go to Powells Bookstore. That's it. We did nothing else except each lunch while were there. If you know Powells though, you know that it was totally worth it.

Anyway, the talk was fun - I got a couple of books signed (she probably would have signed everything I have, if I had lugged it in, but two is fine), and got to say hello. I confessed to being an, um, ardent, fan, and she even recognized my name from comments on FB and Twitter. (I have been assured by another author that I have interacted with in Twitter that simply chatting is not at all like stalking, but I can't quite shake the feeling that I am probably annoying them somehow.) Actually, I was having a hard time not acting like a manic fan girl before the reading, when she came into the cafe where we were eating lunch. I am usually so not a fan girl type - too beneath whatever dignity I pretend to posses, but I was almost bouncing up and down and giggling. Benjamin was, I think, mildly amused at my silliness.

If you ever get the chance to see a favorite author, you should. Go, listen, chat if they offer that opportunity, and buy a book - even if you already have all of them. They need our support in this world that is increasingly hostile to endeavors that don't make tons of money. And you might just have a good time!

*I take that back. I did see her a couple of years ago at ALA when she was on a Scifi/fantasy panel, and I got a free copy of Boneshaker. I had tried to read it a few months before and couldn't get into it, but after hearing her talk about it, and having a free copy, I tried again and really liked it. (Benjamin makes fun of me for disliking it, and then doing a 180). Enough that I then read everything else. But still, that was a panel, and I didn't know anything about her then.

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