On Tuesday I had plans to visit Penguin, as part of a tour arranged by the Book Blogger Convention. Since the tour wasn’t until late morning, I slept in a bit and enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to race off somewhere. I took the subway down to Chelsea and found Penguin books, and a whole bunch of book bloggers waiting in the lobby. I met Swapna (S. Krishna’s Books) and Deborah (Books, Movies, and Chinese Food) and Wendy (Caribou’s Mom…and okay, I already knew Wendy, but it was wonderful to see her again!) and Alea (Pop Culture Junkie) and Gail (Ticket to Anywhere) and a quite a few others who I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember. I’m bad like that.
Since our group was fairly large they split us into three smaller groups. And since I actually recognized the name of one of the publicists, I quickly attached myself to her group. Do you know Lydia Hirt? If not, she’s wonderful. And a total book pusher. She took us around the Penguin offices, showing us shelves of lovely books and introducing us to various people. And we even met Amy Einhorn! After our tour, we met up with the other two groups in the conference room, where a number of publicists were waiting for us. They asked us about our blogs, what we primarily review, and spent time chatting with us all. And I left six books richer. Thank you Lydia and Penguin!
As I was leaving Penguin I ran into Dawn (She is Too Fond of Books) and since she had some spare time, we went for lunch with Deborah and Swapna. And everyone was so excited about BEA’s Editor’s Buzz (6 editors pushing an upcoming book that they’re excited about) that evening that while I hadn’t originally planned on attending, I decided I would go, too.
But first, I had a bookstore to visit. Idlewild Books was the only NY bookstore I had my heart set on visiting, and it was so worth the visit. I might have perhaps purchased a book. Or two. Or three.
Mindful of airline weight limits, I stopped there. But I left wishing that Idlewild could clone itself and move to Morro Bay. I think it would like it here. I know I’d like it to be here.
Idlewild is my favorite kind of bookstore. Its books are arranged by regions of the world, and broken down into countries within each region. Guidebooks, non-fiction and fiction all share shelf space. So if you wanted a book about Zimbabwe or set in Zimbabwe, all you have to do is find the Zimbabwe shelf. It was glorious. I could’ve spent hours and many dollars there.
Instead, I tore myself away and hopped back on the subway. I love the subway. After I told my mom that I was ditching her again (and really, she was okay with that…she found a liquor store and bought herself some wine and cheese and crackers), I left for Javits Convention Center, where Book Expo America was being held. By the time I picked up my badge and made it to the room where the Editor’s Buzz was being held it was standing room only. In a very hot room. But it was worth it to hear about the books. Which I’m going to tell you about another time. (Sorry, but as I type this I’m still waiting for my box to arrive from BEA!)