One of my favourite things about being a book blogger in Toronto is having so many other book bloggers in the area attending the same events. Here’s the thing: squee-ing over the once in a lifetime chance to see Judy Blume in person is pretty amazing. Seeing half a dozen familiar faces in the same room all squee-ing along with you is even better.
So how awesome is it that five book bloggers banded together and decided to organize an event just for book bloggers to squee over books together? I remember hearing about the first Ontario Book Blogger Meet and thinking it was the best idea ever. Scheduling conflicts kept me from attending previous years’ events, so I’m really glad I was able to attend this year. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the event over the years, and I can say now — it was definitely worth the hype!
Organizers Book Blog Ontario posted a pretty comprehensive recap of the event, and you can read it here. It was held at The Ballroom, in downtown Toronto, which had yummy food, cute staff, and a relaxed vibe perfect for mingling and chatting about books. I got to meet and mingle with book bloggers from around Ontario, and chatted with awesome authors Sally Christie, Erin Bow, Danielle Younge-Ullman and Leah Bobet. To give you an idea of how many bloggers turned up – I swear I probably got to talk to only about half the people in the room, and missed out on meeting authors Kevin Sands and K.A. Tucker. No clue about actual attendance numbers, but it’s pretty incredible to see so many people so passionate about books in one room…and to know that we represent just a tiny fraction of the entire book reading, book loving population in Ontario.
Mainly though, what I remember most from the event is being overwhelmed with gratitude. I feel unbelievably lucky to be a book blogger in Ontario, and to be part of such a warm, welcoming community.
So thank you, first and foremost to Angel, Wendy, Michele, Christa and Liz — the hardworking women behind Book Blog Ontario, who must have spent hours (days / weeks / months) putting this event together. They coordinated the author appearances, worked with publishers to put the swag bags together, booked the venue, and basically did all the hard work so the rest of us bloggers could have a great time. They did a great job, and you can read more about them here.
Books in the goodie bag (not pictured: tea and other swag)
Thank you as well to the publishers who generously provided us with more than enough reading material for the rest of the summer. Thank you, Simon & Schuster Canada, Penguin Random House Canada, Scholastic, HarperCollins Canada, Harlequin, Raincoast, Hachette Canada, Dundurn, PGC, and Quirk Books.
I won a prize pack! (Awesome Book Nerd tote courtesy of Raincoast Books.)
Thank you to all the authors who attended, particularly to Leah Bobet and Erin Bow who kindly signed my copies of their books. It may be cliche, but it’s still always a thrill to realize that authors are regular people too, and you may fangirl like mad over their books but still have enough poise to eat a nacho dripping with guac in front of them.
I haven’t had a chance to read Leah Bobet’s An Inheritance of Ashes yet, but Erin Bow’s The Scorpion Rules kept me captivated from the very first page. Incredible world building.
Finally, a heartfelt thank you to my fellow bloggers. It was so much fun hanging out with all of you and talking about books, the weather, and I’m pretty sure someone mentioned otters at some point. A special shout out to Jen, whom I haven’t seen in years — it was awesome geeking out with you again!
And thank you, fellow bloggers Michele, Hayley, Chandra, Gisele and Wendy, for the books, and an extra special shoutout to Lynne, who I think may be my book twin because we have such similar tastes in books.
Some book recommendations: Lindsey Kelk’s Always the Bridesmaid (so much frothy fun!), Melissa Clark’s Bear Witness (good, not great) and Frances Brody’s A Woman Unknown (really good British cozy!).
This has been a pretty incredible week of reading for me, mostly thanks to this event, and I’m getting giddy just thinking of which bit of bookish goodness I’ll pick up next.