Over the weekend, I attended my very first book signing. I will admit that up until then, I never really got the appeal of owning signed books, which seems unreal as my life revolves around books and authors as I teach English. But, honestly, I just never saw the appeal. Well, I certainly do now. Indies Invade Philly has completely changed my mind.
Let’s jump back to why I even began blogging about five months ago. I love books, as I said before, I teach English–and why English? Because I love books. I love reading stories about other people, other cultures, other cities, towns, and countires. I love that a book can transport me to another world, but I also love the didactic nature of books. There are so many lessons to learn about life from the words that appear on the pages of a book. I love talking about books, analyzing how a story is crafted, and I am always in awe of authors who do it well. When there is so much complexity and layering to the crafting of book, I just can’t walk away from it. I get to share this love of literature in the classroom, but I was only ever able to share this love of romance with one of my very dear friends, because most of my friends don’t read or they snub their noses at the romance genre. So, I slowly began to enter author groups to interact with other readers, but I will tell you that I am an introvert by nature, and I struggle to put myself out there with people I do not know, and being behind the screen did not help to ease my anxiety of interacting with my fellow book lovers. But with the encouragement of my friend as well as one of my favorite bloggers, Bex from Night Owl Reader Romance Book Reviews, I decided that I wanted to start my own blog. I wanted a place to talk about books that I love with people who love them as much as I do. I wanted to gush over our favorite authors, dissect their stories and discuss the nuances and complexities of them, and share good books with each other. As a bonus, I would get to help authors whom I love promote their books, leaving me feeling like I was doing my part to help the book world. Going to this signing this past weekend only solidified my feelings of being a blogger, a book lover, and a converted signed book addict.
Everything that I love about the blogging world came to fruition with this signing. I was among my people, fellow book lovers, people who were buying hundreds of books and getting them signed. People who were star-struck by meeting their favorite authors. And standing in line watching this amazing event go down, the camaraderie of this event was astounding. The authors took time to talk to each fan and sign endless amounts of books and paraphernalia. They were gracious and kind, and they were just as excited to see their fans as their fans seemed to be to see them. And when standing in lines, it was great to talk to fellow book lovers. To discuss with them where they were from, their favorite books, were they bloggers or readers, etc., to just really be with people who love what I love. And the book buying obsession, I completely get it after attending my first signing. It is a piece of this story, these characters, the author that you get to take home with you. That escape from the world that books offer readers, becomes ours, a little peace of serentiy that I can pull off of my shelf when the world is stressful and the signage on the front page will take me back to that event, that day when I met my fellow book lovers and got to meet some of my favorite authors, these stories and people who provide me a safe haven from the chaos of the world.
With Indies Invade Philly under my belt, I know a few things now that I wasn’t sure of then. This is the world I belong in, and although I tend to keep to myself, this is a world I want to be a part of. I want to continue to meet new people and new authors and share my love of books with them, with you, really anyone who loves the written word in any form or genre. This is a world I have come to love, a world that has provided me with a second home with a second family who understands why I spend so much money on books, why I stay up reading until 4 AM when I have to get up in two hours for work, a world that is incredibly supportive and opening and welcoming. I couldn’t ask for a better community to belong to, better authors to support, and better fellow readers to interact with on a daily basis. I will also completely blame Jennifer and Holly and everyone involved in this event for starting my new addiction. I thank you for offering me another way to enjoy books and share my love of reading and literature with the world (although my husband does not).
So here is to more books, more signings, more discussions about the books we love, the authors we admire, and the book boyfriends we can’t let go!