There is a fantastic children's bookshop near my house. Called simply The Children's Bookshop, it is full of everything from picture books to upper YA and I love it. I go there so often the owners and all the staff know me by name!
The other day they hosted a book signing by Australian writer Andy Griffiths. He's a wonderful writer of boy books and both my sons love the vulgarity and humor in his stories. Their favorite books are The Day My Bum Went Psycho and the two sequels, Zombie Bums from Uranus and Bummageddon. I did mention my kids are boys, right?
Anyway... We headed off to the book signing, along with three of my son's friends who are also fans. It said the signing started at 4pm, so rather than going straight from school, we went home first to drop schoolbags off and pick up books for signing.
I had failed to realize how many other kids also love Andy Griffiths' books. By the time we got to the store, the queue was out the door. I made half the kids wait in the line while I took my oldest to buy a copy of The Bad Book which he wanted to have signed. I always feel like I have to buy a book when I'm at a signing for some reason, even if I do have that authors' books at home. There's something weird about presenting an already-read copy to be signed. Is that just me?
It took over an hour for us to reach the front of the line, and by the time we left, the queue behind us was as long as the queue in front of us had been when we arrived. Poor Andy's hand must have been aching from signing so many volumes. Yet he still had a smile on his face and time to chat to each kid as they reached the table. He drew funny cartoons and personalized the inscription to each person. He even posed for photos until the store owners suggested that it was taking up time he didn't have to spare.
I was awed that so many people would show up for and event like that. He wasn't even reading from his books, just signing. I said to my son as we were leaving "I hope one day I have this many people show up when I have a book signing."
I now have something to aspire to.
Is this something you would add to your list of aspirations, or does the idea of signing books for three hours or more make you want to tear your own intestines out?