I recently packed up all my belongings and put them in storage. For various reasons, I decided to pare down my already small home library. I ended up getting rid of about 50 books, many of which I enjoyed but only read once and likely would not again. Sadly, because of time constraints and my lack of a car, the majority of these were tossed into the recycle bin. (I know! It’s horrible! Especially since many were like new).
I come from a family of pack rats. I also move frequently (talk about willing to relocate for work). Thus, I try not to accumulate much stuff. Knowing this, you may now grasp my excitement last summer when I finally broke down and bought a salad spinner- something I’ve wanted for years; this minimalist approach doesn’t go just for books.
So in December I rid myself of ~50 books. Then, this past week was the Ontario Library Association’s SuperConference in Toronto. I always enjoy the superconference. I also know there’s opportunity to get a lot of books between the free ones on the expo floor and the great suggestions in the OLAstore (they bring in many books that are discussed during various sessions).
I went to the superconference with the intention of allowing myself a book or two. Indeed, I only brought my laptop backpack for the 3 night stay in Toronto so I had no room for books (though next to books, tote bags are probably the next hot giveaway). Thursday was my primary day walking the expo floor. I managed just enough aloofness so that I didn’t get sucked into the vendor booths too easily, and so I ended up coming away with just two books including Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavour (he was signing) and West of Wawa by Lisa de Nikolits (also signing).
These should’ve been enough for me, but you know where this is going. I ended up buying two more books in the OLAstore: Brain Jack by Brian Falkner and Call Me Russell by Russell Peters (which is one of my book club reads for March). I left the first full day of the conference with four books; twice my goal! Not only that, but I caught book fever as everyone else shared which books they grabbed and by whom and talked about the authors that would be signing the next day.
Friday I returned and decided to go back to the Expo floor. While there I saw one author tweet that she was signing. Then I also saw the giant sign that showed the author signing schedule. In 45 minutes I had four more books, three of which were signed. I could’ve had more too since HarperCollins Canada had a lot of ARCs (advanced reader copies). Speaking of which, I think HarperCollins did a fabulous job at the conference. They had an interactive booth, friendly employees and they tweeted a lot. I definitely started following HCCLibraryLove during the conference. I wish I had known about their prizes for Tweeps that identify themselves, but hey, I got 3 free books from them in total. Their fun display was a theme on Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up novel. Conference goers were invited to share their own reasons for breaking up. I think, thankfully, most decided to share stories from grade school. My favorite was probably “Because he was a dick”. To the point. I thought I took a picture of the wall, but I guess not. You can see pictures through Vikki Vansickle‘s twitter, like this one of the wall.
Bottom line: 8 books (6 free, 2 purchased). I think my to-read list has gotten a lot longer. It never ends!