April 19, 2010


Finally, finally, finally it was Convention time! A 3 day event, but I decided to join only one day, being aware of my limited energy.

My gosh, it was worth waiting for!!! Albert and I had such a good time...

We left early in the morning and took the luxury of taking a (cheap) taxi to the train station. We brought about 40 books, so it was nice not have to drag the luggage to the bus stop ;)

Smooth trip to Amsterdam and I noticed something weird: I was excited but not nervous. Hooray!
At the metro stop near the convention location we met the first foreign guests: Citibelle & husband from the UK. Wonderful people who had been lucky enough to fly to Amsterdam a few days earlier.
The Griffin (convention location) was easy to find thanks to the BookCrossing logo that showed us the way.

A warm welcome at the Griffin. A lot of new faces, but their names were familiar and everybody welcomed each other. During the day quite some people told me how glad they were we made it (I've listed myself for meetings so often and almost every time I couldn't be there because of issues). Felt so welcome and the atmosphere was so relaxed!

Phoenix-Flight, one of the organising BookCrossers, opened the day and told a little bit about the programme. Then Bruce, CEO & co-founder of BookCrossing, revealed the new look of our website, which will be online soon. It's gonna be friendlier for visitors, with less text and an easier interface. And lots more, but I won't bore you with that ;)
There were several speeches and performances during the day. We attended them all and enjoyed most of it. It was great to see Bruce, BookCrossing co-founder & CEO and his wife Heather IRL. The new fresh look of the BookCrossing website was presented and wow, it looks good! It's not online yet, but will be soon.

A writer of historical children's books, Rob Ruggenberg, had a great speech about his latest book.

The best performance of all was done by 2 storytellers and a poet. I wasn't sure if I was gonna like it, but the moment the first storyteller entered the stage (no, tóók the stage!), people were blown off their seats. My gosh, what a performer, what a vivid way of telling! A second storyteller joined him and later a singing poet completed the beauty by singing poems. There was a wonderful piece of the poet Rumi in it and that sent shivers down my spine. Standing ovation!

Albert and I went to a Greek restaurant during the dinner break, together with a BookCrosser who lives in our region. Yummie food and relaxed conversation.

When we returned to the Griffin, it was time for the Mystery VIP guest. Haha, I guess no one could have guessed it would be Sinterklaas himself, together with 2 zwarte pieten! :)
Sinterklaas did also draw the winning lottery tickets and quite some people won really cool prizes like a reading blanket, a pair of clogs and an eReader. Nope, Albert and I didn't win.
Although I was exhausted at the end of the day, it was hard to leave the convention, to say goodbye to all the people we'd met. To finally see faces behind the screen names I've known for years and to find out the click was there in real life as well...priceless! Can't wait for the next meeting!

The trip back home was a bit of a struggle. I had ran out of 'social energy', couldn't handle the switch between that feels-like-home atmosphere and the dark outside world very well. Was scared of every stranger that came by and I panicked. But with the help of Albert and my old friend Xanax I managed.

On Sunday I woke up with a mental hangover, but I hád to sort out, adjust and upload the pictures I shot. Kinda been doing that all day and in the end I knew I should have taken it easy, my head was running over. So I went to bed early, but in the middle of this night I woke up with the need to write about the convention and to upload the bits of video I made.
It's all done now.
I'm off to bed and will stay there for as long as I need!

Here are my photos & videos:

Piece of mu

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