Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book Blogger Retreat

. This was the weekend of the Book Blogger Retreat here in Portland. It was terrific to meet some of my fellow bloggers and do some very fun bookish things. Huge thanks go to Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? for organizing the event. PARTICIPANTS Wendy from Caribousmom Bethany from Dreadlock Girl Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? Gabe from Reading Local Teddy from So Many precious Books, So Little Time Juli from Whimpulsive Kristen from We Be Reading Ali from Worducopia ACTIVITIES We met Friday evening for dinner at Ringler's, the McMenamin's in the Crystal Ballroom building. It was a great, casual way to all meet each other and get acquainted. Saturday morning was the tour of Powell's, which was entertaining and interesting, even for the Portlanders among us who think we "know" Powell's. For instance, I did not know that 1) there are a million books on the shelves at any time; 2) there is a huge tank under the store that catches the rainwater and regulates the flow into the sewers so as to help the city deal with the never-solved problem of its "combined sewer/overflow system"; 3) they have one of the original editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, for $35,000; and 4) someone is buried in the book column outside the 11th Avenue entrance. Thanks go to Bethany for arranging the tour! We started off Saturday afternoon with a presentation in the Rare Book Room of the Multnomah County Library. Jim Carmin showed us some amazing books and ephemera from the collection, including a couple of contemporary "art books," a letter from Charles Dickens, a book of hours woven in silk, a manuscript about a safari that is bound in lion skin, and one book from the four-volume The Birds of America set by John James Audubon. This was the highlight of the weekend for me. I was blown away. Thanks go to Ali for setting this up. After the rare books, we had a great "round table" discussion (minus the actual table) with Portland author Molly Gloss. Molly was gracious and engaging, willing to talk with us about writing, blogging, the state of the publishing industry, her experiences as an author, and her books. Her latest novel, The Hearts of Horses, is getting rave reviews and is going on my TBR shelf right away. Thanks go to Gabe for making arrangements with Molly! This was a really wonderful event and I am so glad I was here to participate. Trish took copious notes and lots of pictures -- as did several others -- so they will have very good wrap-up posts. Please visit their blogs to read more about the Book Blogger Retreat. .

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