In direct inverse proportion to how much Day Four kind of stank, Day Five was full of surprises and awesome. And I sort of already blogged about this already but I'm gonna again.
So. We got to the Javitz at 7 to get tickets for the Temple Grandin signing, because Temple Grandin is intense. And then we sat in the line-up to get in and waited for two hours (as one does) and flipped through the Things Going On Today magazine, whence all our surprises. Shel Silverstein preview! Jimmy Fallon tomorrow! And so on.
Ok and then the floodgates opened and we got our first taste of the feeding frenzy that is the HarperCollins and Hachette (pronounced 'Ha-shet' and not, as I have been saying, 'Hatchet') and Penguin booths. Stacks of books for the taking! Elbowing also for the taking! No time to read blurbs or book-backs! TAKE! TAKE! TAKE! It was actually delightful and overwhelming and fun in the way that very loud dance music is. OVERSTIMULATION!
And then we went and met my internet-friend 'blackbird' at her booth, which had soft carpeting and cushioned seats and which we stopped by MANY TIMES over the next few days for these reasons (and also because it had BLACKBIRD and she is hilarious and precious and New Yorky and dear, and her only flaw is not telling us she wasn't coming on Thursday so we could get a picture with her on Wednesday. Alas).
While we were sitting on the Javitz steps with blackbird, eating our hotdogs and yakking, a pack of school-children traipsed by with identical treats, and we were like, Where did you children get those treats? And one of the minders is all, They're giving free treats away thataway. So we wandered over to the Sarah Dessen truck and got red velvet whoopie pies
from who I later realized was Sarah Dessen herself (whoops. I loved The Truth About Forever, Sarah!) and they were one of the best things we ate all week (there will be a wrap-up of Things We Ate later. Also, Our Hostel and The Sketchy Adventures Therein). Grandma Plett loved red velvet, so I like to think we were honoring her in chosing this over strawberry.
And then, and then we got in line for Mike Holmes, a line that was full of giddy girls, and by the time we got to Mike Holmes we were both turned to eleven and very high-pitched but he was so calming and had such enormous, soft hands and then we HUGGED HIM and it was one of my top two celebrity encounters of the week.
And then I met Chuck Klosterman and then we met R L Stine, who was a bit leery but which was kind of expected, and then we spent a good twenty minutes circling a quadrant of booths looking for a particular booth, but they aren't in strictly numerical order and they aren't always labelled and finally we just asked a girl, Where is the Shel Silverstein? And she was all, Right here, and the cookies are on their way.
Oh and somewhere in there we saw a skinny older lady doing something technological on a stage and then we were like Is that Margaret Atwood?!?! And then we stopped and had a moment because MARGARET ATWOOD. She was signing e-books, which was a very future-space-tech and Atwoody thing to be doing.
And then we hauled our wheelie bag of books back to the hostel and changed our shoes and headed out to the library (the big one, with the lions, which is easier to find on a map) for a sci-fi/fantasy reading.
And, ok. When I'd gone online to rsvp, the sign-up had been closed, but I figured we'd show up and hope they could squeeze us in and if not, we'd have gotten to see the library anyways.
So we get there and start a living wait list, and more people keep showing up who didn't sign up, and they fall in with the wait list, and the gals start checking people who DID sign up off a list that is tragically not in alphabetical order so they have to go through all the pages looking for each person, but everyone is orderly and patient because we are book people and not rowdy, except there's ONE GUY behind us in the wait list who is all, I'm not on the list but I'm reviewing one of these authors so it's very important that I cover this. And we are like, Dude, everyone here is probably reviewing one of these authors. Fall in.
So he falls in but ok, did I mention that he's blind and does it make this story worse if he is? Because he is the WHINIEST PERSON ALIVE and also blind so he keeps being like, How many more people are left? And me and boo are like, Maybe 30? But it's taking a while to get through everyone (see: list issue) and he's all *aggrieved sigh* This isn't right! It never said you had to have a reservation! And we're like, The website did. And he's all Well NOT EVERYONE HAS COMPUTERS! And we're like *careful silence, because in addition to being blind he is also maybe crazy?* And then five minutes go by and he's like, Miss? How many more people? And we're like, Maybe 25? And it goes around again.
But. We all got in in the end, and the reading was amazing. Oh hell, this is already a very long post. Suffice it to say that Lev Grossman reads like an elementary school teacher (in a good way), John Scalzi is hilarious even if I think his fiction is kind of bad, Scott Westerfeld had illustrations, and Cat Valente is a force and I want to be her bestie.