Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.
Image: Armchair BEA Button

Today’s suggested writing topic…we’d love for you to share a positive “real life” experience with books! Either by way of your own partnerships in your community, a book signing you went to or possibly even a get together with fellow book bloggers. Tell us all about it!

Is there such a thing as a negative “real life” experience with books? We are talking about books here after all. All kidding aside, the sad fact is that there are a few authors who leave the community stunned by their harsh commentary, antiquated opinions, and failure to realize/understand the power of social media. Thankfully, I have had nothing but immensely positive experiences whenever my real life and my blogging life coincide!

For instance, for the past two years, as my regular readers already know, I have been fortunate enough to attend the annual Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association (GLiBA) trade show. Held in Dearborn, Michigan each October, publishers, booksellers, authors, and various media come together to celebrate books with a focus on regional authors or settings. Think of it as BEA with almost all of the same goodies but condensed in one location. Because everyone is staying in the same hotel as the event itself, there are more than ample opportunities to hobknob with your favorite author as they sit next to you at breakfast or grab a drink at the bar!

There is something about an entire hotel filled with booklovers that will get the creative juices flowing and make one appreciate just how lucky we are to be included in this amazing industry. It is so thrilling to have an author, publisher, bookseller, or fellow blogger recognize your Twitter handle or website name, and the connections made by these face-to-face meetings are unparalleled. Attending such events, and making the most out of the experience by paying the extra money for the breakfast/lunch/dinner with authors, only gives credence to book bloggers everywhere, as you are showing not only how passionate you are about what you do but your seriousness in making those connections and doing more than just sitting behind a computer screen. To me, the real-life meetings are truly what sets one apart from the rest of the group. Because blogging is a hobby for most of us, it is a testament to our passion and never fails to impress others that you are willing to take time off from your “regular” life to attend such events. In this case, actions definitely speak louder than words.

Blogger get-togethers do not just have to happen at industry events. One of my favorite times ever was getting together with two of my blogger besties at one of their houses for an entire weekend. We ate, we drank, we talked, and we read, which was all we wanted to do. There were no awkward silences, no feelings of needing to be entertained. It was as stress-free a weekend as can possibly exist, and something I definitely want to repeat or make a tradition if possible. It is proof that you can make real friends online and is a testament to the power of our passion for literacy to bring us together.

So, don’t be shy, and do not be afraid. The rewards for meeting others, whether they are publishers, authors, booksellers, or fellow bloggers, are priceless!

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