I have much to be thankful for in my life from this past year, but it's amazing to me that a solid portion of those things are actually book related. Maybe it makes me a nerd, but all I know is that it makes me a very happy and grateful one. I have two blogs up and running (with lots of room to grow), library school is almost done, and YA literature in particular continues to surprise me almost daily.
One thing I am particularly grateful for was an event that took place this past Monday at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL. For those of you who are fans of independent bookstores, go to Anderson's. For those of you who have never yet gotten to experience the amazing things that an independent bookstore has to offer, go to Anderson's. If you live in the Chicagoland area and have not yet been to Anderson's, what are you waiting for?
See where I'm going with this? It's an amazing place, the staff is incredible, and I'm convinced that if you are not yet a booklover, this store and these people will absolutely change your mind.
Back to the point, though, on Monday night they had a panel of ten YA authors come, talk about their books, and then do autographs and pictures. Needless to say, it was pretty much heaven on earth in my eyes. This is now my 3rd time meeting YA authors and I've yet to have anything negative to say. These people are amazing. They're smart, empathetic, outrageously talented, brilliant masters of their craft, and they genuinely seemed to like talking to their fans and with each other. (For more of me gushing and professing my undying love for these people, check out my other blog here - I have plenty more to say.)
Books are so often seen as individual entities. We do independent reading, silently and by ourselves, but that didn't always used to be the case. Not so long ago, reading aloud with friends was considered to be a social activity that people would spend full evenings doing, taking turns passing the book around. Writing, I'm even finding out, doesn't have to be an isolated event. Communities of writers are incredibly supportive of each other and they act as cheerleaders and counselors for those times when it feels like you're going no where (both in life or in your story). And authors, let me tell you, are an interesting breed of artist. It's one of those things where hearing these people talk on Monday, I found myself nodding along because so much of what they were saying made perfect sense to me - I just got it.
So, as a librarian-in-training, an English degree holder, a writer, and a person passionate about all that books have to offer, meeting authors is a fantastic way to fall in love with it all over again. And if you haven't yet gotten to experience the quaint feeling of an independent bookstore (which is also full of incredibly helpful and enthusiastic book people, too), Anderson's Bookshop is waiting for you.
Comments welcome, and happy reading!