“Going to a book event…With no books?!”- LA Times Festival of Books Recap

It may seem like an ironic situation to be in. I mean, who goes to a book event with no books? It’s mainly unheard of! But this year for the LA Times Festival of Books, I went bookless. I won’t lie – it felt super weird. I’m used to taking a week to map out my routes, double (even triple) checking my author list, and making sure I have all my books packed up and ready to go (usually in order of what books I’ll need first – those go on top).

But this year, I got up the morning of LATFoB, got myself an iced coffee, got my Divergent tote bag I had packed with my Buxom lip gloss (in White Russian – it’s the best), wallet, and keys, slipped on my rain boots (from Target on clearance for $10), and flew out the door. There was no stress, no headaches, just going.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love packing up a backpack (sometimes even suitcase) full of books and pulling one out at a time to get signed. I come home with the greatest sense of accomplishment EVER. But I’m just here to present the other side of things. Because I’ve done the whole lugging of 20+ books at book events to get signed. I’ve done it. And maybe it comes with doing a lot of book events, or maybe it’s just my old age shining through, but there is an inexplicit beauty in just attending a book event just to attend. You get to sit in the stands (in this case under the pouring rain) and really hear every word the authors are saying, not stressing over where the signing line is. You get to say hi to other readers you hadn’t seen in a while instead of brushing people aside to make sure you get in line before them. You get to meet and enjoy the company of new readers. Make some friends!

I do believe that there is a sense of comradery, a connection, that gets lost when people go to book events with the sole purpose of getting books signed. I am by no means bashing the concept of going to a book event like LA Times FoB to get books signed – that’s part of the event! You should totally do it; but don’t let it overshadow the beauty of just hearing people talk about the common thing we all love. People like books, you guys (Ha), and sometimes it’s so liberating to just go to an event and talk about how much we love and enjoy books. I definitely enjoyed doing that this year at LATFoB.

And it wasn’t like I completely left empty handed, in terms of books. I knew Emery Lord was going to be there and if you’ve been following my blog for some time then you probably saw my review of The Start of Me and You floating about. It’s is one of my favorite YA contemporaries, hardcore. So when Emery announced the paperback would have bonus content (and when I saw the paperback’s cover – it’s beautiful!), I knew I had to get it. So I did, and I got it signed. Also ran into Sarah Rees Brennan which was awesome because I hadn’t seen her since…well…since Clockwork Princess tour! That was ages ago. So it was nice seeing her and telling her how much she slays with her awesome umbrella.

I have no regrets (#noRagrets) when it comes to this event. I enjoyed every stressfree minute of it. And my friends and I may have had a little too much fun taking photos at the event… But the event itself was beautiful. Despite the rain, the authors powered through and gave great responses in panels and were super sweet to talk to face-to-face.

If you missed this year’s LA Times Festival of Books, fear not! YALLWEST is just around the corner! I may be at that event. If you’ll be in Vegas this weekend for the RT Booklovers Convention, comment/message/tweet me! I’ll be there and I’d love to say hi to people! Let’s talk about books and hot dudes and girls! I look forward to the book events I have planned to attend, and the people I hope to encounter.

Thanks to LA Times for hosting this beautiful event and for accepting a lil o’ blog like mine as media! XO

Alex

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Fun Fact Friday: SUMMER CHANGES

Hey, guys! Something new to the blog. Just something to keep me updating weekly.

FUN FACT FRIDAY!

The way this works is, every friday I will post a fun fact about me. That’s it. Ha, seriously. I will post and explain a fact about me and in turn, I’m hoping you guys will feel inclined to share a fact about yourselves with me too.

Today I’m starting on a rather heavy topic. But this has been on my mind for a really long time and finally I was able to put it into words…

It’s amazing how much one summer can change things. And at the risk of sounding cliché, things have changed a lot for me.

I completed my first paying job, my grandpa passed away, I started writing a novel, I moved into my first apartment, I’m starting my second year of college. But the one thing I’m so proud of accomplishing this summer is none of the above.

At the start of summer I battled with a lot of things; I hated my weight. I hated my clothes. I hated my hair. I hated the people I called my “friends.” Even now, I can’t fully explain what happened to change all that. Maybe someone said something one day that made me turn things around. Maybe I heard a song that really put into perspective what mattered. Whatever it was, I’m incredibly thankful, because for once in my life, I am at a comfortable place in my own skin. So, okay, I may not be the most fit or thin girl out there, but I love my curves! And so I can’t afford the best clothes, but I afford what I can and I make it work. Yeah, I dyed my hair. Turns out I love my old hair just fine, but I realized change is fine too. I love my new blonde hair!

But I gotta admit to something else. I’m at a great place in my own sexuality. If you follow me on twitter then maybe you’ve noticed (and if you’re reading this & follow me on tumblr then you for sure have noticed) that I have no problems talking about sex or sexuality. That may have been my biggest problem at the start of summer. I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality because I wasn’t comfortable with myself. And it took me a while to realize those two go hand-in-hand.

There is nothing wrong with having questions about sex. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being curious. Definitely nothing wrong with talking about sex or other kinky things. It took me a while before I could even say the word in front of my mom, but now I do it so freely that even my mom doesn’t care anymore. But I shouldn’t have had to fear it in the first place.

And so this summer was my summer of discovery. I learned new things about myself and what I like. Learned that what works for me may not work for others. And I’m comfortable enough to ask my friends questions, comfortable enough to share my own experiences, which although are limited, are just the stepping stones to what I can offer.

I’m done hiding behind my uncertainties. I’m done with feeling bad for what I think and feel. I’m done with letting the very thought of sex weigh me down with anxiety. Instead, I want to own up to it.

I am a nineteen, going on twenty, year-old college student. I’m a sexual being. And that’s okay.

Now this isn’t to say I’m going to go off and have sex with every guy who talks to me; but it means that I’m comfortable enough that when I find the right guy (or when the alcohol lowers my standards enough), I won’t be walking in blind. I’m walking in with my head held high, condom in my back pocket, and a smile on my face.

And there it is, my fun fact. My summer changes. Let me know a fun fact about you? Did you accomplish something this summer? Did you battle with something you were able to overcome? I’m a curious kitty with a desire to get to know my readers 🙂

That’s all for today.

Be well & enjoy your weekend!

– Alex