On Saturday 12th September I was lucky enough to attend my DREAM event – the Book Blogger Bonanza which was being held at the New Street branch of Waterstones in Birmingham. It was purely by chance that I stumbled across this event when I mentioned on Twitter that I wanted to meet more bookish people in real life. Lindsay (from the fantastic Book Bundle) told me about this event and I was immediately sold. Books, bloggers AND authors, all in one place (which happens to be a bookshop…ANNND BREATHE.)
This is only the second bookish event I have ever been to. Living in the Midlands I often have to turn down events that I would desperately like to go to as it’s just too much of a trek, so I was delighted that a blogging event was going to be happening somewhere local to me. Hurrah!
Going to this event alone I was a teensy bit nervous (read: a lot) but my fears soon disappeared when I met the extremely lovely Lily (from The Whispering of The Pages) who came and chatted to me in the queue. I had met my first ‘In-Real-Life’ book blogger and I couldn’t be more excited! I was also lucky enough to be introduced to the wonderful Ally (from Reading in the Rain) and I finally got to meet one of my blogging heroes, Michelle Toy (from Tales of Yesterday), who was one of the panel of bloggers speaking at the event. I also got to meet the lovely Tiff (from Literally Addicted)
The actual event itself was fantastic. The panel consisted of bloggers Michelle and Mariam (helloiammariam), vlogger Lee (The Lee Reader) and author/blogger Lauren James (laurenejames.co.uk). It was absolutely fascinating to hear their take on all things blogging – having schedules, writing negative reviews, discussing spoilers, looking at stats and how they got into blogging in the first place. It really was great and I feel as though I learnt a lot, all of which I hope I can take on board and put into practice with my own blog. It was also brilliant to hear from an authors perspective as Lauren provided her take on things. The audience also got the opportunity to quiz the panel.
The event primarily focused on YA and even though I blog about books from pretty much any genre, I have become a huge YA fan since I started blogging. I think I’m now even MORE of a YA fanatic after meeting bloggers who have such enthusiasm for the genre. (Plus my TBR now has about a million new YA additions. Whoops.) I loved how the panel discussed what I like to call ‘YA Snobbery’ (y’know where people dismiss YA out of hand because they think it’s only for teenagers? That.)
There were stacks of freebies on offer. All attendees were given goody bags and got handed three free books before the event even began (I knew I was going to like it from here on in…) We also got to pick two books from the ‘free book table’ and there was a book lucky dip too. As if this wasn’t enough there was also a raffle with lots of bookish prizes (I am now the proud owner of a ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ t-shirt) AND THERE WAS CAKE.
I had such a good time and all of the bloggers I was lucky enough to meet were just wonderful. Waterstones did a cracking job and the staff were so friendly and accommodating. We were even given the opportunity to buy copies of Lauren’s book and she was willing to sign them for us which was the ultimate bonus! The Next Together comes so highly recommended, I can’t wait to get started on this one…
I came away from the event one very happy book blogger. I had 2 bags full of books, new friends and a stack of new book recommendations. What more could you ask for!?
A huge thank you to all the staff at Waterstones, the blogging panel and all of the lovely book bloggers that I met on the night.