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Decatur Book Fest 2012

Obviously, my weekend peaked when Meg Cabot accepted my Ron Swanson inspired mug (and then tweeted about it– go me!), but here are some other highlights from the Decatur Book Festival.

3 books for $10! And this was not some BS book sale with a bunch of books you’ve never seen before or 30 copies of Twilight from publisher’s remainders.   Oh no. These were books you might actually want. Given that I’ve managed to accrue 50 e-books this summer, I resisted the urge. But it was tempting.

It’s nice to know that even book festivals, very classy affairs, still advocate for all kinds of fried foods.

You can’t host a book festival in Georgia without nodding to Gone With the Wind in some way. My apologies to this couple, whom I do not know, but you are very cute here, for what it’s worth.

A nice touch: The Wish Tree.  Just hang your wish on a branch and let it float in the breeze.

Here’s my wish:

But I saw this one, and I thought it was just charming.  My heart swells when people get excited around books.

Bookzilla at the court house:

A growing trend: little libraries.  People leave these little boxes around town and other people leave and take books from them in a community of book sharing.  They got local artists to create their own little libraries and hosted a silent auction.

It’s not a festival without a fancy frozen treat from King of Pops, Lemon Basil to be exact.  Later, my hair stylist told me how much she reviles King of Pops because he causes traffic on her street, and she can’t wait for Michael Jackson’s lawyers to take him out.  I nodded, but I still had the delicious taste of Lemon Basil in my mouth,

The Jane Austen Society of North America made a showing, and they did not let the heat stop them from their cosplay.

That parasol looks nice, but that girl is roasting. Poor thing. I respect her commitment.

And finally, there’s always money in the banana stand.

Conversations with Books, Part 1

A while ago, I found this suggestion online:

Imagine your books are persons. Then arrange them according to the conversations they could have with their neighbors.


Naturally, it captures my imagination to think of my books waiting until I flick off the lights to engage in their after dark chats.  When I built my new bookcases and rearranged my home office, I spent hours one Sunday afternoon arranging many of my books in this way.  I’ll be sharing some of my favorites over the next couple of days.

The books about  precocious kids all got together for a wild rumpus on one of the lower shelves. Allie Finkle is pretending to be a foreign ninja warrior princess with Betsy and Tacy, while Turtle Wexler and Flavia de Luce  start a girl’s detective agency.  The kids from The Goonies (Yeah, I have the movie novelization. Jealous?) are joining up with Stanley Yelnats and the other delinquents from Holes to find a way to rescue the Lemony Snicket kids (“Orphans never say die! Down here, it’s our time!”), while Matilda and Kat Incorrigible sip tea and discuss Regency era romances  and take turns moving things with their eyes to freak out the other kids. I thought about pairing Nanny from The Nanny Diaries with a cute single memoir guy, but I needed someone to wrangle the moppets at bedtime.

I like to imagine this stack gathered around a flashlight at a sleepover when a storm is brewing outside. Catherine from Northanger  and the nameless new Mrs de Winter  from Rebecca could get themselves all in a dither with their tales of gothic fright.  Then the ghostly narrator from The Lovely Bones could be like, “You guys are weak sauce.  I have a better story about a creepy neighbor guy who built an underground cave.”   And then Ms Roach, who would be surprised to find herself on my bookshelf in the dark, would roll her eyes and tell them that so-called “mediums” used to stuff gauze up their ladyparts  to trick people into thinking they were spewing ectoplasm and, sorry Susie Salmon, but you probably don’t exist.  But then Rory from Name of the Star would be like, “Uh, hey, I see dead people, so maybe they’re right.” And then thunder would boom  through the room and they would all scream and jump.

On this shelf,  Katniss from  The Hunger Games and Katsa from Graceling  compete in a  super intense archery contest complete with flinty stares while  Peeta and Po sit to the side drinking beer and exchanging war stories.  They’d kind of be hoping for a Girl Fight when the lost boys from Lord of the Flies would come over the hill screeching that they’re going to kill the pig, but they’d stop dead when Katniss and Katsa turn the power of their stone cold gazes on them.  Peeta would say, “Hey, guys, have a beer or something. The girls will shoot us a pig for dinner later.  Where’d you get that face paint? Do you have any left? That really takes me back.” And Po would say, “I sense these guys could use a bath.”  They’d all have a good laugh,  and then they’d discuss  survival skills and form an alliance to take down the rest of the bookcase.

Tomorrow: Mindy Kaling and Bridget Jones have lots of questions for Elizabeth Bennet-Darcy and a bunch of books take a road trip together.

Building a Better Bookcase

Currently, I have about 50 unread books in my possession.  A handful of those are e-books, but the rest are hard copies.  It should come as no surprise that I’m running low on shelf space in my home.   This weekend I finally decided to bit the bullet and build 2 IKEA Billy bookcases for my home office. I have the scraped arms and bruised knees to prove it.   That little graphic instruction manual doesn’t mention that, you’ll notice. It also doesn’t  include a bottle of wine under the needed tools, which is a severe oversight.

 You’ll notice Abed and Jeff Winger in the background. They were extremely helpful.

To give the bookcase a little zing, I decided to put my Pinterest account to good use and attempt an “Ikea hack.” I followed the instructions put together by The Nearest Future to attach fabric to the back of the bookcase.  I want to point out here that the backing of a Billy bookcase is just cardboard. I thought I might need a staple gun to do this, but your average Swingline desk stapler works just fine.   I’m pretty concerned about the longevity of this bookcase given that it is partially cardboard.

For those of you feeling crafty. I found the fabric at Whipstitch, which has by far the cutest and most whimsical fabric selection in Atlanta. Go throw some money at them!

After several hours and a couple of moments I thought would surely lead to Single Girl horror stories in which I would get trapped under heavy furniture for days until someone found me,  I ended up with this:

I put a couple of the shelves in backwards on the right hand shelf, and I had to paint the exposed particle board white. I suppose I could have unscrewed the pieces and done it the right way, but when you’re putting together an IKEA bookcase, you hit a point where you’re like, “Eff this,  I just want it to be over.”

And with the books:

You’ll notice the Girls Gone Wild hat. It was thrown to me by a That 70s Show cast member during Mardi Gras one year, and I only had to show my smile to get it.  Seriously, what kind of girl do you think I am?

Tomorrow: How I chose to organize the books.

The Rainbow Bookcase

Things I could have done tonight:

– Cook an actual meal instead of eating sliced apples with cheese
– Fold all of my laundry instead of letting it languish in the dryer
– Watch one of the Netflix movies gathering dust on my TV stand
– Curl up with one of the 3 books I am currently reading
– Wash all of the dishes that are becoming unsanitary in my sink
– Train my schnauzer not to bark at herself in the mirror


But here’s what I actually did…

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