What could be better than an afternoon spent with dozens of book-lovers? The answer to that would be nothing. This past Saturday I attended the 2nd Annual Blogger Meet-Up, organized by the lovely ladies of the Ontario Blog Squad. Seventy-five book bloggers. Nine guest authors. Countless free books. Ah, bliss!
I set out from Guelph on the train and enjoyed the sight of snow-dusted farmland speeding past as I made my way into Toronto. Being at the mercy of the train’s schedule, I arrived in Toronto ridiculously early, but that meant I actually found some time to write. And write I did. I was able to fill about ten notebook pages, which is more writing than I’ve done all month. Apparently travelling = good writing mojo.
From Union Station, I walked to the Watermark Pub where the event was taking place. I was early but so were a dozen or so other bloggers. We are definitely a very eager bunch. At the door we were each given a BAG of books from various publishers (more to come on these later when I have time to examine them properly). Then we each got a name tag with our blog names and twitter handles (so helpful!) and found a seat.
I’ve never met any book bloggers in person before so this was an entirely new experience for me. Being the shy, bookworm that I am, I was nervous about walking into a room full of strangers, but I need to say this right now: Book bloggers are by far the friendliest bunch of strangers ever! Everyone was so nice and welcoming. I had the pleasure of sitting with, and getting to know Avery (Avery’s Book Nook), Ashley (Book Labyrinth), Kellie (ReaWrite), Hayley (Booking It with Hayley G) and Giselle (Book Nerd Canada). What a great bunch of ladies! I would have liked to meet more bloggers but there was so much activity and just so little time to meet everyone.
Also present at the event was the reason book bloggers exist: authors! I finally got to meet Grace O’Connell, author of The Magnified World, in person, which was awesome after having chatted with her online before. Elizabeth Miles, author of the Fury trilogy, was there and we all got a copy of the latest installment in her series, Envy. I managed to find a moment when she wasn’t being swarmed and got my copy signed. Joanne Levy, author of Small Medium at Large, Maureen McGowan, author of Deviants, Cinda Williams Chima, author of the Seven Realms series, Susin Nielsen, author of Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, and Brian Francis, author of Natural Order, were all milling around and partaking in the merriment. And, of course, there was the self-proclaimed “loudest author” there, Lesley Livingston. Lesley beckoned everyone to come say hi and hug her and she was true to her word. I got two hugs—just sayin’. She signed my copy of Starling and we chatted about the potential magical properties of my necklace. She is quite a hoot!
After everyone had eaten, there was book trivia, raffles and even more free books. And before I knew it, the event was over and I was back on the train heading home.
It was a spectacularly bookish and fun afternoon, and I can’t wait to do it again next year (or perhaps even biennially? *hint, hint, nudge, nudge*).
Thank you Ontario Blog Squad for organizing such a great event!