A couple of posts ago, I mentioned making yet another trip to Utah. It was an event-filled trip, as I shall soon relate. One of the interesting things I did was attend the Provo Library Teen Book Fair. I'm pretty sure this is an annual event, but it's the first time I went. What drew me was the knowledge that Scott Westerfeld, author of Leviathan and Behemoth (and some other books that are even more popular but that are not of particular interest to me), was the keynote speaker and would also be signing books. In addition to Scott Westerfeld, other authors would also be there, including another of my favorites, Brandon Sanderson
I invited Megan and Shannon and Mickinley to go with me. Megan has read Leviathan, and Mickinley was in the middle of the Uglies series, and Shannon is cool to hang out with.
Nathan and Rylie also came, mostly because they had no choice. So we made a nice little group.
Mickinley and I got our books signed by Scott Westerfeld, who is the kind of author who doesn't make you stumble over your tongue trying to think of something to say. I like that.
Another thing I liked was that many of the volunteers helping out with the book fair were dressed in steampunkish sorts of outfits. The fellow helping control traffic in Westerfeld's signing room was a sort of air pirate and looked really cool. I wish I'd taken a picture of him.
Since he was the featured author, Westerfeld had his own room for signings. The rest of the guest authors were encased in the ballroom. Have you ever heard of a library with a ballroom?
The library used to be Brigham Young Academy (the predecessor of Brigham Young University). The building, which originally opened in 1892, was renovated and reopened as the Provo Library in 2001. What is now the ballroom used to be a study hall and then a library for the academy/university. Now it is the place where you can find not only dozens of authors but many imaginative fans. We saw someone dressed in a mistcloak (Kelsier, I think), and a guy in pajamas and a bathrobe with a towel over his shoulder (Arthur Dent - and I must say what a great idea that is for a costume. So simple and so comfortable). There was also a woman in Edwardian (or is it Georgian? George was the king in 1914, but when one says Georgian fashion, one tends to think of a hundred years earlier) costume with a little ferret-like toy animal attached to her shoulder. I assume she was supposed to be Dr Barlow and the toy creature was a perspicacious loris. I kind of wish I had enough nerve - and a decent costume - to dress up for events like this one. It would probably embarrass my companions, though.
As it was, we contented ourselves with our pedestrian outfits, and stood in line to get our books signed by Brandon Sanderson and Brandon Mull.
To keep the little ones from approaching the tantrum zone, we let them take full advantage of the free candy being offered.
I tried to explain to a bored Nathan why we were doing what we were doing.
"It's because books are wonderful, and reading is so much fun," I said. "One of these days you'll learn to read. You keep practicing and then it'll be like a click in your head and it will all come together and you'll be able to read." He just looked at me and then asked if he could get more candy.
So we got our books signed, and when we came out the sky was overcast and the wind was blowing and the leaves were swirling.
As we hurried to the car, Nathan said, in a sad little voice, "I didn't hear the click."
It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about. When I did, I told him it wouldn't happen right away, that he had to keep learning. He still looked a little disappointed. Then I told him to eat his candy. That made him happy.