For many a published writer, Powell's is just another stop on just another book tour. However, for those of us who attend such events, it is a time to gather and enjoy bookworm esprit de corps. Tuesday evening was was another gathering for another author. My husband and I arrived early, staked out good seats, and began our people-watching vigil. After all, the next best thing to reading books is reading people.
As the chairs filled in, the parade of humanity did not disappoint. What wondrous variety! From my vantage point, these were the highlights:
- Lots and lots of tattoos. I want one. But I'm a chicken. So should I get a chicken tat?
- A cute couple with matching iPads. I want an iPad, too.
- A Hagrid look-alike with a Kindle. Sigh. I want a Kindle, too.
- A crazy cat guy wearing a sweater with kitties all over it. I do NOT want one, be it guy, kitty or sweater.
- A fabulous chunky pearl necklace on the crazy cat guy's date. Oh yeah! Want!
Wait a sec...who am I? Veruca Salt? Enough of the wish-list already. If I want that stuff, I'd better get my own book finished and sold!
Back to the author -- Lev Grossman is his name and The Magicians is his latest book. His presentation was humorous, articulate, and sincere -- all the things you want in an author. I should mention brave, too, because audience Q&A can be dangerous. Someone in the back asked the question I was too chicken (again) to ask about naming charactes. Personally, I was happy to hear him admit he has difficulty with this. Me, too! Honestly, it was easier naming my kids than my characters.
I've wandered enough. It's time to tie this up. So why in the heck is Powell's a magical place? Because for those few minutes, all of us who had gathered together put any and all of our differences aside for our common love of a well-told story. Between 7:30 and 8:30pm, none of us represented any particular demographic or tax bracket. We were all just children again -- listening and imagining and wondering. Magical, right?