Proceed scrolling down at your own risk as there is much gushing and pictures about to happen. I've never been to such a thing before, so of course I took tons of pictures. Thus if you don't want to see and hear all about it, stop reading right now! (Also, I cannot stress enough that I am no photographer, therefore I cannot promise amazing, quality pictures. I only promise pictures. M'kay?)
Now then! My day started in this building. And that banner that you can't read does actually state "Welcome to the Southern Festival of Books" in case you're wondering. This is the Nashville Public Library. I know! It's huge! Multiple levels of awesomeness here.
This would be the children's section. Mind you, this is one whole room dedicated to only children's books. Plus it's yellow which just makes me happy! :) It's located on the second level.
Meanwhile, on the first level, we have the foyer. And this is only half of the room. I couldn't get the whole thing in one picture. And those books? Those are for sale. Which is where I found this...
I listened to this all the way home and as I stated in my review yesterday, it is fabulous! If you like quirky characters and lots of adventure, you should read it. (Also, that cover is amazing! Incorporating so many elements of the story in one perfect picture. I love it.)
Moving on to the actual festival itself, here it is in all its wet glory. Yes. It rained all day. But us die hard booklovers were not deterred! Oh no! Far from it. We wandered from booth to booth with our raincoats and umbrellas and happy enthusiasm for books. There were books for sale all over the place, as well as authors and publishers to meet. One awesome aspect of the day that I wasn't expecting was the fact that book people love other book people. I mean, I knew that was true about myself, but that moment that I saw such a vast array of readers and writers all having a blast was fantastic! There were people that I chatted with who read and write stories that I will probably never read, but we still had that common bond of loving books anyway. What I mean is, regardless of what we each read or write, it didn't really matter. What mattered was our enthusiasm for literature and books. And every single person I met had that in spades! Which means that I had some incredible convos with all kinds of people. My favorite convos were the unexpected moments when I stopped in a particular booth and we just started talking. Book people are awesome people! Enough said. :)
And then it was time for the highlight of my entire weekend! Yep. In that little huddle there, stands a tiny but awesome lady who I couldn't wait to meet! But first I had the privilege of listening to a panel of three authors discuss their newest books. Which was great fun! Of course, the bestest part was listening to this gal....
Yeppers, there she is, folks! Ms. Natalie Lloyd herself! To say that I was excited to meet her? Thrilled to listen to her talk about what inspired her novel? Ecstatic to even be in the same room with her?! Would all be a huge understatement. My joy knew no bounds! :) And I was determined that I'd be grown-up about this. I would talk to her. (I even practiced what to say!) I would tell her how much I'd enjoyed reading her blog for years. How much I loved A Snicker of Magic. How amazing it was to meet her. I would not do like I had when meeting Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) a few years ago. Where I got so completely tongue-tied I ended up not being able to say even one word to her. *shakes head in embarrassment* But this time! This time would be different. And it was! (Well. I was still a bit tongue-tied and I think I ended up saying "thank you" about a gazillion times too many and who knows if I was coherent at all. But I do know that I got a hug! And that she called me cool! I'm totally going to add that to every introduction from now on. "Hi, I'm Kara! And Natalie Lloyd thinks I'm cool." Has a nice ring to it, don't you think? ;)
Oh look! Another picture of her! ;) She's reading from her novel here. Which brings me to mention the panel she was a part of. There was this clock at the back of the room and all of a sudden, all three authors look at it and gasp. The hands were moving around by themselves really quickly! Cory Basil, one of the authors, exclaimed "We're time-traveling!" and Natalie goes, "Best panel ever!". ;) Seriously though, it was a very fun panel to sit in on. Afterwards, we got to go meet them and get their autographs (at which point Natalie gave me a hug!), which brings me to the awesomeness of this guy....
This is Cory drawing a picture for my nephew. I didn't buy his book (if only I could have bought every single one that I wanted! *sigh* Oh for unlimited amounts of book-buying-money), but I had the thought that one of my nephews loves to read and I bet he'd enjoy having an autograph from an author. So when I asked about it, Cory volunteered to draw a picture and sign it instead! Which he proceeded to do. And which I thought was awfully nice of him! :) Therefore, go check out his facebook page and his newest book, The Perils of Fishboy. He added around 60 illustrations to the story and it sounds like a fun book! :)
And to end the day, I visited Parnassus Books. They had a booth at the festival, but you know nothing can compare to the actual bookstore. And it's lovely! If you're ever in the Nashville area, I recommend stopping by. The high ceiling makes the space seem large and they have a fabulous selection. One of my purchases there included:
Have you read this one? If not, get thee to a bookstore! It is absolutely hilarious to read aloud. I stood there in the store laughing my head off. It's a good thing I had the children's section all to myself at the time. ;)
This is the ceiling of one of the buildings around the festival. Pretty cool, right? And thus endeth my day of happy. I headed home with lots of fun memories and a few more books to add to my shelves. As well as dreams of going again next year! ;)