Book Events I’d Love To Attend Someday

July 21, 2020 Top Ten Tuesday 17

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Events I'd Love to Attend Someday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The meme was originally the brainchild of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Book Events or Festivals I’d Love To Go To Someday.

I have been lucky enough to attend a number of book events in my life, from author signings to sci-fi conventions to book festivals, going all the way back to my teens. As a result, I have shelves full of signed books as well as treasured memories of meeting some of my favorite authors and spending entire weekends with my best friends at a con.

There’s a certain irony in thinking about book events I’d like to attend in the future, since many of them won’t even be held this year. Others may occur online until it’s safe to gather in large groups again. But here are some of the events I’d really, really like to attend in person (or attend again), if I ever have the opportunity.

  • WorldCon. It’s called the World Science Fiction Convention, but it encompasses fantasy as well, and it’s the biggest of the international SFF cons. Fans in costume, authors galore, numerous panel discussions, and of course, the announcement of the Hugo Award winners. (You have to attend World Con or be a non-attending member in order to vote on the Hugos.) Maybe someday, I’ll be able to go.
  • NASFiC. The North American Science Fiction Convention is run by the same organization as WorldCon, and takes place in North America — but only in years when WorldCon isn’t held there. If I can’t get to a WorldCon, this would perhaps be the next best thing.
  • The National Book Festival is held every September in Washington, DC. It used to be held on the Mall, but moved a few years ago to the Convention Center. I attended a couple of times when it was on the Mall. It was hot and muggy, but I got to meet some of my very favorite authors, including Tamora Pierce and Susan Cooper, and hear them speak. This year’s NBF is being held online, which won’t be at all the same.
  • Balticon. Balticon was my very first science fiction convention, way back in… 1980, I think, but it might have been ’79. I attended several Balticons with my best friend Richard and several other friends. I have fond memories of staying up all night, going to the filk sing, dropping in and out of the movie marathon, and reveling in being surrounded by people who loved the same books and shows I did. Back then, we SFF nerds were weird, not mainstream, and there was no internet; going to cons was one of my only ways to feel connected to my “tribe.” I’d love to go to Balticon again, for old times’ sake. I might even go in costume, if I could pull one together. (Though I probably wouldn’t stay up all night.)
  • Malice Domestic. I’ve never been to a mystery convention, and this one is held yearly, less than 2 hours from where I live. Unfortunately, it’s also usually held around the same time as the concert for my choruses, so I haven’t been able to go. Maybe some year, I can arrange the concert date so it doesn’t conflict.
  • San Diego Comic-Con is legendary: the premiere convention celebrating comics and SFF shows and movies, as well as anime, manga, and SFF books. The fan cosplay is amazing, and a lot of franchises (like Star Trek, Marvel, and Star Wars) make major announcements there. I think it would be really fun (and exhausting) to experience it just once.
  • Book Expo and Book Con. Book Expo is the major US trade show for books; Book Con, usually held in conjunction with it, is for readers/fans. I know a lot of bloggers have attended one or the other, or both, and someday, I’d like to do so as well.
  • The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, and a tour of sites where they filmed. I love Great Britain, and have been there six or seven times. I’d love to go back, and if and when I do, it would be fun to take the studio tour, and also see some of the sites where the movies were filmed. I’m more ambivalent about visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. On the one hand, it might be fun, but I think the crowds and the heat would spoil the experience for me.
  • A romance convention for fans. There have been a number of these over the years, so I haven’t singled out a specific one. I would base my decision to attend on proximity to where I live, cost, and which authors were likely to be present.
  • Author events/signings. I am always up for an author event and/or signing by an author I love! And living midway between DC and Richmond, I normally get quite a few opportunities. But I won’t be attending any in-person author events or signings until COVID-19 is no longer a threat. A few bookstores (notably Politics & Prose in DC) are doing online events, and you can order signed books, so I might do a few of those. But it isn’t at all the same as being there in person.

What bookish events would you most like to attend?

In making the rounds today, I discovered I left out some awesome festivals and events! So let me add to my list:

  • The Edinburgh Book Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts in Hay-on-Wye, Wales – otherwise known as that town with all the bookshops
  • LeakyCon (a Harry Potter con)

17 Responses to “Book Events I’d Love To Attend Someday”

  1. Angela

    It’s really a bummer that there won’t be really any in-person events this year. I was really looking forward to a free book festival here in my state. My husband has been to NY Comic-con once before, and I would love to go!

  2. Greg

    There’s something about bookish events. I’d love to go to Worldcon someday. Malice sounds like it would be neat too. I’ve seen a Nancy Drew convention in the past that is in a different city every year, and I always thought something like that would be fun.
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    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I’m not a fan of crowds, either. But it’s not like the national fireworks, where you can hardly move for all the people. There are crowds and long lines at the popular signings and author talks, but when it was on the Mall, there was always plenty of breathing room if you moved off the paths and away from the venues. I worry that the Convention Center will feel a lot more crowded. Of course, right now even three people feels like a crowd, and I’m certainly not venturing even into open-air spaces where there are a lot of people. (Which means I don’t even get to enjoy walking beside the lake across from our house. The little pavilion and tiny beach are crowded with families who seem unconcerned about social distancing or masks.)

  3. Anne - Books of My Heart

    OK I am up for going to any of these with you I think. I like the SFF stuff better than the romance ones these days. I also am a big mystery/thriller fan and didn’t know about Malice Domestic. I would suggest Apollycon for a romance one near you (DC). I went and it is great, lots of authors, well organized. I also enjoyed Book Bonanza last year and they move that around, it was in TX when I went. The other con I would recommend is DragonCon in Atlanta, it’s amazing. I planned to go this year but obviously not now.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      It will be interesting to see how many of these events survive after COVID. It may depend on how long the pandemic lasts, and when (and whether) they find a really effective vaccine or cure. But if and when that day comes, I think I’ll make more of an effort to attend some of these events.

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Maybe someday you’ll get to go! Let me know if you do, and I’ll try to go, too. It would be fun to meet IRL, after being acquainted through our blogs all these years.

  4. Jessica at Booked J

    Oh my gosh, so many of these sound so fantastic! I am in awe over how many I haven’t heard of. (I have a theory I live under a rock. Oops!) Fingers crossed you get to go to/attend some of these in the future!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      At my age, I’ve had plenty of time to find out about them! I look forward to the time when it’s safe to hold very large gatherings again… even though that may take several years.

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