Sunday, May 22, 2016

May Book Events: Free Comic Book Day & Sarah J. Maas

So there has been a lot going on this month and almost all of it was fun stuff! We had Children's Book Week, which we didn't really do much for other than read lots of books. Of course Star Wars day landed in the middle and we listened to the Read Along children's books for that (and of course got Munchkin all dressed up).
On Saturday May 7th it was Free Comic Book Day! This was only our second year going and we were a little late to line up at our first store so much of the selection was already gone by the time we got in. We went to one more store after that but they only allow 1 book each.  By that point Munchkin was exhausted and needed a nap, but hopefully in the next couple of years we can make it the whole day since there were 2 more places to go that make a big event of it with costumes and games and giveaways. Munchkin was thrilled to get to wear his Superman costume all day!

We did get a great selection of comic books to try out, even one Hubby is willing to read!!
Of course they always have sales so picked up a couple of GNs and single issues, some for me and some for Munchkin.
The fun didn't stop there either! On Wednesday May 11th Sarah J. Maas came to our local Barnes & Noble for a discussion and signing. This was the first really big name we have gone to locally (I did go to a big event in CT with many best selling authors). I knew it would be a really popular event and researched only the process before going. Of course Munchkin had to go with me because we have yet to find a babysitter for him.  Anyway, it was a little bit of a mess and unless it is an author I am extremely passionate about I doubt I will go to another B&N event.  (I will save my rant for the end).
Anyway, we went early in the morning to get our wristbands.
The event was set to start at 6:30 so after getting out of work at 5:00 I rushed to get Munchkin at preschool and got him fast food dinner and hurried over to get in line (the stress of that included in rant).  Luckily he was happy to be there with me and got a kick out of having to follow the blue dots in line.  They did have a nice seating area set up for us once we could go sit down.

 The discussion lasted for much longer than expected (over an hour and a half), Munchkin was insanely good during this time. While I wasn't a huge fan of Maas' Throne of Glass series, I found her to be extremely fun, likeable and approachable. She was happy to laugh at herself and to show us the real person behind the books.
By the time the signing line was half through, Munchkin was getting restless. I wasn't able to juggle my books talk to her and maintain control of Munchkin while taking pictures but oh well. Munchkin was actually okay with talking to her and normally he won't even look at a new person.

It ended up being a way later night than I would have liked, especially for the middle of the week and with Munchkin. He ended up getting to bed and hour and a half late and was wiped and miserable for the rest of the week. But oh well it was worth it in the end.
So that was my May book events, in June I have another pretty big one coming up that I am excited for. I am going with a friend this time (must still find a babysitter) and we have VIP passes to a small cocktail event with all the authors attending!!
So here is my little rant about the B&N event . . .
So this event was promoted pretty heavily by our local B&N, there were signs at the store, posted on their website and also an event on facebook.  I checked each of them out very carefully because I didn't want to have to stand in line with Munchkin for hours only not to gain access.  So they had said that it was a wristband event, and you had to have a wristband to get in (only up to 175 people), and the only way to get a wristband was to come to the store the day of the event (starting at 9:00am) with a paid receipt for Maas' most recent book A Court of Mist and Fury.  So I told my boss and preschool we would be late and we went and got in line at 8:30am, luckily there were only about 20 or 30 people in line.  Then we get into the store and they tell us you not only need a paid B&N receipt for her most recent book but also every book you want signed (up to 3). And you had to bring that receipt to get a paid for bookmark before the event started, so yet another line to stand in before standing in line.  It would have been nice to know that and I would have brought it with me to avoid waiting in line again.  Now I was lucky and had only just purchased the first book in the series a month ago online at B&N, but I feel bad for those people who bought a book a year or more ago and no longer hand their receipts (I never hang on to my in-store receipts after it clears my account) and were given the choice of buy the book again or don't get it signed (and what about the ARCs that someone may have received).
Then while we were hearing about that whole rule, they also said that they weren't limiting the number of wristbands handed out. But they were only allowing 175 people in, so you had better get your wristband and then get there early if you wanted in. WHAT?! If you are limiting an event then limit the wristbands! They also required Munchkin to have a wristband because he was attending, come on he is 3 years old, he isn't having any books signed he isn't going to take up any time and if he causes a ruckus I just leave.  So as a result of this rule, I was stressing out that I had to work a full day and try to get Munchkin fed and get in line early enough to get into the event, especially when I saw posts on Instagram for people already showing up and getting in line before 4:00!   Luckily we did get in line and get my second paid bookmark, and then get in line for the event early enough to get into it, but still it was way more trouble than it should have been. So needless to say I am not going to put myself through that stress again unless it is one of my favorite authors!
Oh and did I mention that they set up in the toy section, try sitting there for 3.5 hours staring at a wall of legos with a 3.5 year old boy.
So there, I had to get that off my chest. I have been to several book events and this was one of the most rule filled and stressful events I have been to. (grrr I am still grumbling about the fact that they were basically handing out more tickets than they had room available, its like when you get to an airport only to find your flight is overbooked).


  1. Free comic book day?! Fun! I'm sorry the Sarah Mass signing was stressful! I really hate B&N sometimes. They always blame all their stupid rules on the publishers and it's never true. It's all B&N. It's crap! At least you had fun in the end.

    1. Yup Free Comic Book Day does happen nationwide (I am not sure if it international too). Just check their website for a participating comic book store near you (even some libraries participate too).

      I don't think I will go to another B&N signing again unless it is someone I really love. It was way more of a hassle than I expected. Especially when I have so many other independent bookstores near me that have events that are so much more laid back.