london, again, with more books

IMG_2236I’ve taken this same picture three or four times over the past fifteen years or so. In fact, I probably have some sort of before renovation-during renovation-after renovation series I could do with them. The first time I took this picture was way before digital cameras, and the print is lost somewhere in an album I’m sure is gathering dust in an attic, but the second time I took it, I blew it up and framed it, loving the geometric patterns in the glass and the way it seemed to branch out across the (blue and sunny!) sky–oddly enough, it was sunny the day I went to London this month, so I was able to take another daylight enhanced version of my “I visited the British Museum” picture. Many of the rooms in the British Museum are built to let in as much sunlight as possible, so, on days like this one, walking through it feels like some sort of sun-dappled journey through history.  Plus, because so many of the pieces are photography-friendly, you can spend the day taking pictures of giant statues glaring at you, or lions that look poised to eat you, or that Elgin marble horse head that just looks…angry. I was planning on popping into the Tate Modern as well, but I ended up spending well, hours, wandering around the British Museum, so had to skip that and head straight for the Simon and Schuster Bloggers’ Event instead.

Although I normally just take the Tube everywhere, it was such a nice day (and I had enough time) that I thought it would be better to walk. I’m now at the point where the little triangle of London between Euston/St Pancras Stations, the main touristy bit, and the Simon and Schuster offices feels nearly familiar. That doesn’t mean I didn’t constantly reference my A to Z (love that thing) as I was walking, familiarity doesn’t trump my ability to get lost while travelling in a straight line, after all. I feel that I should admit that I went the wrong way once (coming up out of a tube station), but my keen sense of where a Starbucks might be (t’other way) quickly, if randomly, put me back on the correct path.

The Simon and Schuster event was really well done (as always).  The author panel this time had: Justin Somper of Vampirates (fantastic), Michelle Harrison of the Thirteen Treasures trilogy, Milly Johnson (totally hilarious), Kevin J. Anderson (sci-fi author), Sophie McKenzie, and Helen Warner (head of ITV daytime and first time author).  All of the authors did a great job fielding questions people (more organized than I) had sent in, and Justin Somper was kind enough to reassure me that, while the sixth Vampirates (and yes, by the way, that would be Vampires+Pirates=all excellence) will be the last in the series, he will still be writing young adult books, so I will avoid disappointing the hopeful faces in my father’s classroom when I visit next.

The authors were unbelievably nice, and many of them signed books for me to bring back to the US with me (for my dad’s classroom).  Simon and Schuster also makes an effort to have food, drinks, and lots and lots of free books available at these events, so I made off with a stack of to-be-reads and TWO excellent bags to carry them (S&S know their bag-construction requirements!). This time I hadn’t made any plans to meet up with people after the event, so I made my way back to Euston and took the next train (that I was allowed to take on my not-all-that-cheap Off Peak Return) back to Manchester.  All in all, quite a successful day, hopefully I’ll get to do it again soon!