Friday, September 26, 2008

NEIBA Trade Show

Last weekend I was given the opportunity to attend the New England Independent Booksellers' Association Trade Show with Karlene and Leslie. We met lots of authors and got lots of free books and generally had a fabulous time!

The trade show was held at the Hynes Convention Center, which is connected to the Sheraton hotel and a very large mall. (Actually, the whole place was very large. I probably would have gotten lost really easily had I been by myself!) Our room at the Sheraton was on the twelfth floor, and I enjoyed watching the people on the streets below and imagining about them (which I think had something to do with my being surrounded by authors and books.)
The highlights of the first day revolved around meals. We had both the Awards Luncheon and the Children's Book Dinner. The authors who spoke at lunch (and complimentary copies of whose books we received) included Alice Hoffman, Nathaniel Philbrick, Tomie dePaola, and David Macaulay. Tomie dePaola was a definite treat--he had the room of booksellers mesmerized by his reading of one of the stories from his book, Front Porch Tales & North Country Whoppers.

After lunch we went to a couple of workshops, and soon it was time for dinner. I'd been looking forward to this dinner ever since I knew we were going, because two of my favorite authors were to attend--Jeanne Birdsall, author of The Penderwicks andThe Penderwicks on Gardam Street; and Norton Juster, author of, among other things, The Phantom Tollbooth, which is one of my family's favorites! What I didn't know until that day was that our friends at Scholastic had invited us to sit at one of their tables--the very table at which Norton Juster was seated!

Here is a shot of the table (note the SweetTarts and rubber ducks and more free books!):And here, to my delight, are Mr. Juster and I!
As an icebreaker, we had a little children's book trivia game. There were two envelopes on each table--one marked "question," one with "answer." The question one had the first lines of two children's books, and we had to guess what books they were from. I am proud to report that I knew more of the answers than anyone else at the table. We traded twice with other tables, so we guessed at a total of six first lines, and I knew three of them--The Book Thief, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The Secret Garden. Other people knew one or two--Karlene got Hoot. Needless to say, I loved this game.

Day #2: The trade show itself!
Basically, our second day consisted of walking around and talking to vendors and finding new things to share with all of you. (We got some really fun reading glasses... plaid and animal print and striped and solid.) At 1:00 we started lining up for more signed books, and by 3:30 we were happily laden with books and ready for lunch!After lunch it was time for another workshop or two, and then the Author Reception, where we got, you guessed it, more books! Back at home the next day we were all sore from carrying all the books--and we now have enough to read to last us several months!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Congratulations to Mary Margaret, winner of the Summer Sunshine Rays of Reading grand prize!

And thanks to all the kids who made our Summer Reading Program a big success. You guys did a great job reading this summer--altogether, you read 543 books!