It is hard to believe that my three days of booky awesomeness are over. Being part of the library team visiting Auckland Writers Festival, it felt like living in a bubble of joy and excitement for a few days. When I felt it couldn't get better, it did!
- An inspiring amount of people come to the same place to listen and talk about books, reading and writing. It is amazing to be part of such passionate and versatile crowd that vibrates in chords of harmony.
- A day at the festival exists of librarian's favourite things: listening to authors, reading, writing, sleeping and eating. OK, I admit – buying books as well.
- Patient queues. Never in my life have I experienced such patient and polite queue-ers! Queues start to form 45 minutes before the event. It is great to see people connecting and conversing about books and sessions they've seen. Queuing is a great way to catch up with the content of sessions you were not able to attend or just to meet lovely people (It is also a perfect time to tweet or post on Facebook as audience is not allowed to use the devices during some of the sessions).
- Kids. Excited kids. Kids excited about books. Tons of them! As a librarian I started to feel hopeful about this planet's future when I saw hundreds and hundreds of kids and their parents pouring into the festival venue to listen to their favourite authors and patiently queueing for more than 2 hours (!) to get their books signed. Never mind parents spending their wages to buy their little ones more books! Certainly a memory to hold on to, it will come handy next time I have my dark day.
- Extremely patient and helpful staff. Working in public service myself, I deeply admire these people's patience and friendliness. I imagine there were moments, when – if being one of them – I would have happily hid in the toilets and pretended I'm not there.
- Paper bags! Paper bags at the book sellers. My level of serotonin increased by double, when I realized those paper bags people are carrying around contain newly bought books. That's the way to go, people!
- Law of attraction. Being in the same place as so many other people you admire and are there to listen too, seems to attract some sort of good energy. One moment, they are on the stage, next moment, they are in the crowd and you can be sitting right next to them. Law of attraction surely does the magic during the festival. I must have been destined to meet Xinran. First, I was sitting next to her on the plane to Auckland and also bumped into her after the festival in the restaurant. She left me speechless - her genuineness and humbleness are admirable. She hugged me before saying goodbye. It felt so natural.
- Last but most obvious reason – authors. Amazing humble giants! You don't have to read all of their books to see how amazing they are. You can just listen and let yourself be charmed. Again. And again. And again …