It goes without saying, but a weekend dedicated to talking about books and reading is amazing. Add the beautiful location of Boulder, Colorado and who could ask for anything more?
Unlike past Booktopias where I signed up for every session and ironically had little to no time for reading, I was more selective this time and chose to attend sessions I genuinely wanted to attend and in the spare time found a spot to sit and relax with my book. This was partially to recover from the insanity that has been my work life for the last few months, but it was also nice to have a little quiet time to enjoy the surroundings.
The first session on Friday was a kind of speed-dating thing where we gathered in small groups and were given a topic to discuss for 10 minutes, at which time we moved to a different group and a different topic. This was a great icebreaker and was a lot of fun.
On Saturday the author sessions began. The first I attended was with Justin Go, the author of The Steady Running of the Hour, a novel set in the present day and in World War I which I enjoyed very much. There is a lot of controversy about the ending, but he defended it very well, saying that “Two people – the writer and the reader – are working together”.
The second session I attended was with Jonathan Miles, author of Want Not. I was honored to be the moderator of this session and he and the group had a great discussion of his novel and how he wrote it:
The last session on Sunday was a panel on book clubs in which I was a panelist. This was a great topic as everyone — on the panel and in the audience — participated and we all came away with ideas to improve the book clubs we already have and on how to start a new book club. And one of the audience members made this great gif:
And then of course there was the Boulder Bookstore. As I mentioned, part of the registration for Booktopia included a $50 giftcard for the store and they were offering free shipping with a $75 purchase. And – surprise – I had no difficulty reaching either threshold, though I “only” spent $50 over and above the gift card which for me isn’t too bad. My books arrived on Friday and they are:
Again I reconnected with friends from past Booktopias and made many new friends as well. Anyone who says that readers are introverts needs to come to a Booktopia and see how chatty and animated we can be when we get to talking about books we love!