Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. Are you a blogger as well? All that’s asked is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it!
Today’s Top Ten:
Top Ten Best Bookish Memories (waiting in line for a new release, meeting an author, or some sort of great experience with a particular book that was unlike others)
It seems like my life lately has been a series of wonderful bookish moments. From the times I’ve waited in line to meet a variety of authors, to my very first BEA, to even this past weekend… well, let’s just say that I count myself amongst the very fortunate for the opportunities that I’ve had.
- My annual re-read of the Anne of Green Gables series
My mother gave me my very first copies of the “Anne” series. They were, in one sense, bribes to keep me busy during the two-day car rides between our home in Ontario and my relatives in Nova Scotia. They were more than that, though; my grandparents also had a cottage in PEI, and we would travel on to there from the Annapolis Valley to swim in the Atlantic, find red sand everywhere in our bathing suits and eat delicious fresh lobsters at church suppers all over the island. We visited Green Gables, and my mother would point out significant landmarks, familiar to me from the books as my own neighbourhood as we leisurely made our way home. To me, the Anne books are part of my mother’s childhood as much as they were mine, and it’s something unspoken that we share. When I re-read the books each year, I can feel the red sand between my toes, and salty, briny crust of salt on my skin after a long day playing in the waves.
- My first read of “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
I never read this classic in school. When I was in high school, CanLit was all the rage, and I devoured Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findley, Margaret Lawrence, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood and countless other icons of the genre – but not the American classics many others were discovering at the same time. My first encounter with “To Kill a Mockingbird” happened years after, when I decided that enough was enough. I hunkered down, and read it in a weekend, emerging (sobbing) to make myself tea and toast before I called my BFF to berate her for not making me read it sooner. The emotions that book brought out in me will never be forgotten.
- Driving to purchase the latest Harry Potter books at ungodly hours of the day… and finishing each new book the same day I bought it.
I was a Harry Potter fan from book one. There wasn’t much buzz for the first three books – they launches were small, and there weren’t any line-ups to speak of on release day. Things began building, however, and soon there were midnight release parties and early morning trips to pick up reserved copies at 6 am at the local Indigo. My most shameful HP moment? Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire was released the same day as my dear friend’s wedding dress rehearsal and ‘hair trial’. As her maid of honour, I should have been focused on her. Where was I? In a salon chair nearby, nose in book, completely oblivious to everything going on. Sorry about that, AM.
- Watching and listening to fantastic Scholastic authors present their newest works as reader theatre
Did I mention that I appreciate just how fortunate I am for the opportunities I receive? Scholastic US invited the fabulous Jen (@mountie9) and I to a special event during BEA last year. We traveled to the Scholastic offices in SoHo to hear and see Maggie Stiefvater, James Dasher, Jeff Hirsch, Donna Cooner, Raina Telgemeier, Kate Messner, Elliot Schrefer and Sharon Cameron as they shared their newest work (Maggie did a selection from a little thing called “The Raven Boys”!!!), and read each other’s work aloud. Afterwards, they mingled and chatted and signed all kinds of things for us. Unreal, and absolutely priceless. Thank you, Scholastic!
- Last minute invitations to bookish events, just because people know you will appreciate them
I may work for an independent bookstore (go indies!), but I know the power of publishers and big bookstores such as Indigo in securing incredible authors for visits and special events. If it wasn’t for the incredible Cammy and his crew (aka @indigogreenroom), I would never have had the chance to meet Rick Riordan (twice), or to see Oliver Jeffers tell one of his stories live, complete with on-the-spot illustrations. Some of my publishing friends have called me up to offer me tickets to sold-out author events at IFOA and the Toronto Public Library speaker series, just because a ticket came free and they knew I’d be into it. There are many, many other amazing events that I’ve attended, and words cannot describe how thankful I am for each and every one of them.
- Hosting Kelley Armstrong my very first school visit
The very first author visit that I arranged for my students was Kelley Armstrong … and I was a nervous wreck. Sure, I love her work, and the groups of students that I worked with for Red Maple were equally impressed with her, but what about the other eight hundred students? Would they be polite? Would they ask questions? Worse – would they just sit there in silence and not interact? Not to worry – she was engaging and funny and handled the (inevitable) dumb questions with great aplomb. Later, in smaller groups, the kids were totally involved, and asked fabulous questions that made her laugh and even stumped her a time or two. It also gave me the confidence to arrange more author visits, especially when I saw how valuable such visits were in stimulating student interest in certain books.
- Putting together book gifts for five grandchildren for a patron – and having the kids come by later to thank me and talk about each of the books I picked for them.
One the best parts of my bookstore position is the close interactions I have with my patrons. We have gotten to know each other, and we trust each other’s judgement in our respective fields of expertise. This holiday season, one of my patrons came to me in a panic. She had five grandchildren, all of whom would need books for Christmas. She was purchasing gifts for each child, not only from herself, but would also need books to give from another family member. All told, each child would need between eight and ten books, all different, and all suited to each child’s particular tastes and age ranges. Honestly? It was the most fun ever! I picked out some of my favourites, as well as some different things and sent them on their way. The best part happened during that week between Christmas and New Year’s, when the kids came in to see me. They loved their books, and we spent at least an hour talking about their favourite books and what they might read next. Bliss.
- Meeting incredible bloggers while waiting in line to meet an assortment of authors – bloggers who are now awesome friends.
There’s a funny thing that happens when you head to a bookstore to line up for an author event … six hours before it is supposed to start. You realize that you aren’t alone, and that there are other people who may be as obsessive as you are about reading. Once you get to talking with them, and you see them at several events, you form a kind of “band of brothers’ mentality – you get each other coffee, save each other spots in line, recommend reads, etc. Over time, you get to know each other more and more, and you follow their blogs and friend them on Twitter. Eventually, you come to realize that these people are your bookish friends, and you couldn’t imagine life without them!!
- Enjoying breakfast with countless Forest of Reading nominees.
As I talked about in a previous post, I’m fortunate to be part of the reading committee for an OLA Forest of Reading selection committee. As a result, I’m invited to a breakfast each year where all the nominees are celebrated for their achievements. It’s a fun breakfast, filled with bookish conversation and a very relaxed atmosphere. This year was no exception, as I managed to have some lovely chats with Megan Crewe, Eric Walters, Kenneth Oppel (even if he did crush my hopes), Wesley King, Bill Swan, Kevin Sylvester, Kelley Armstrong and so many more. One of my favourite days of the year bar none.
- The startling realization that I might just fan girl – with tears – when meeting Walter Dean Myers
During the BEA children’s breakfast this year, Walter Dean Myers gave a presentation in relation to his position as the National Ambassador for Youth Literature. His message? Reading is not an option, and every child should be made to believe that reading is essential. After the breakfast, many people wanted to meet with him and with the other guest speakers, so it was a while before things cleared out. My friends and I took our time leaving, and as we were about to go, I noticed the iconic Mr. Myers standing alone, gathering his things. I made a swift decision – I wanted to meet him. After all, he’s has won the Coretta Scott King Award five times, been honored with the Newbery Medal twice, was a finalist for the National Book Award and received the Printz Award for his bestselling book “Monster.” More importantly, he’s a devoted reader, despite never finishing high school, and he’s the kind of writer I could give to all my troubled and reluctant boy readers from difficult backgrounds because he wrote about their lives. Here’s the surprising thing: when I met him, I almost started to cry – and I never cry when meeting someone famous. It hadn’t occurred to me how much I valued his work until I had the chance to tell him in person. He was very sweet and even gave me a hug before we had our picture taken together. He’s one of the good ones, and even though I came close to disgracing myself, I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything.
So … what are YOUR best bookish memories? What books moved you most? What authors made your day? Share in the comments below!