Tag Archive for 'reading'

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signings of the apocalypse

I had a fantastic, authorly day in NYC yesterday that was not hampered at all by several poor transit decisions on my part. (Uh, if anyone wants an unlimited Metrocard good through 12/12/12, let me know, and I’ll mail it to you!) The more time I spend away from New York, the less competent I feel whenever I visit it…

The highlight of the trip, of course, was reading at Books of Wonder, my favorite book store in Manhattan. I’ve been going to readings and signings there for six or seven years, and once I began writing Fair Coin I hoped I would have my chance there one day. So I felt very lucky to be sitting up there with Colleen Clayton, Tiffany Schmidt, and Amy McNamara, with so many of our friends and people who love reading and publishing YA fiction on the other side of the table. Plus, mini-cupcakes! Many thanks to Peter, Scott, Allison, Alice, Corinne, and everyone at the store for their warm welcome!

The event had a nice turnout, the readings went well, I sold and signed some books, and it was great to catch up with friends from NY and beyond. I also had fun meeting up with my JABberwocky agents at their new(ish) office and touring book stores in the city with Tiffany. We hit pretty much every Barnes & Noble in Manhattan and signed our stock there, so if you’re looking for copies of her book, Send Me a Sign, or Quantum Coin, here’s where you can find them. They make great gifts! :)

Books of Wonder
18 W. 18th Street
212-989-3270
(They will also ship signed copies of Quantum Coin if you don’t live in NYC or otherwise can’t get to the store. Here’s the buy link!)

Barnes & Noble:

Union Square
33 East 17th Street

Fifth Ave
555 Fifth Avenue (46th St & Fifth)

Citigroup Center
160 E. 54th Street (near Lexington)

Tribeca
97 Warren Street

82nd & Broadway
2289 Broadway

86th & Lexington Ave
150 East 86th Street

The only B&N we didn’t make it to in Manhattan is the Greenwich Village store, which unfortunately is closing at the end of this month :(

And if you’ve purchased Fair Coin and/or Quantum Coin as a gift for someone or yourself, you can also request free, signed bookplates by e-mailing me at me [at] ecmyers [dot] net with your name, how you would like it personalized, and your mailing address. But if you want them in time for an impending holiday or the end of days, you should e-mail me soon!

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better the second time

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (preceding by one day the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins). Considered a classic children’s book and a master work of fantasy, this is also one of my favorite books. So it’s a little surprising that the first time I picked up The Hobbit, circa the 5th or 6th grade, I read that first page and promptly put it back on the shelf of my classroom lending library.

I don’t know what caused me to bounce off the book so quickly. Possibly because Tolkien does take his time getting to the point, doesn’t he? Or maybe it all just seemed a little too silly at the time.  It just didn’t seem like a book for me, as much as I loved fantasy and science fiction even then.

The Hobbit appeared on a summer reading list for my 7th grade English class, and for whatever reason, I decided to give it another try. And I completely loved it. So much so, that I immediately dived into The Lord of the Rings, which was admittedly a slog a lot of the time, particularly in the first half of The Two Towers. I’m really glad I gave the book another chance.

This has happened for me with other books, too. Most notably, I bought a copy of The Silmarillion, but it took me ten years to actually finish it, at which point I inhaled it in about two days. Dune by Frank Herbert put me to sleep when I first tried to read it in the 7th grade, but I was suddenly able to appreciate it. And I now have no trouble getting through The Lord of the Rings whenever I reread it every couple of years.

Sometimes we revisit beloved books and either find that our tastes have changed too much to enjoy them any more, or they bring us back to the time and place in which we first read them. But how often do we revisit books that didn’t work for us the first time around? In my first encounter with The Catcher in the Rye, I was way too young to get it, but years later, it suddenly meant a lot more to me.

With so many books out there to read, these days I’m less inclined to finish a book that I’m not enjoying or come back to one that I couldn’t get into, but there’s something to be said for giving books a second chance. So much of the experience comes from the reader; even your mood affects whether or not you feel like reading a book. I guess it’s a matter of knowing the difference between “not for me” and “not for me right now.”

Do you have any books that you passed on or disliked at first, but fell in love with later on?

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north, miss tessmacher! north!

I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but my next reading from Fair Coin will be this Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Water Street Books, 26 Water Street, in Williamstown, MA. This event is generously co-sponsored by the Religion and English departments at Williams College.

If you live anywhere near Williamstown, I would love to see you there! A discussion and signing will follow the short reading, and there will be plenty of swag for the taking. I expect it to be a fun event, what with all the smart college kids and teachers around.

Apparently Christopher Reeve often performed in theatrical productions in Williamstown and was married there, so that’s kind of cool. Other notable individuals with links to Williamstown include quantum physicist William Wootters (best name ever!), the Barclay Jermain Professor of Natural Philosophy at Williams College; songwriter Cole Porter; Welsh actor Roger Rees; actor Matthew Perry; and SFF writer Paul Park.

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assigned reading

My delight that Fair Coin has been selected as a book for classroom discussion at a Bronx middle school is moderated by sheer horror–one of the things I learned in school is that nothing takes the joy out of a book and reading more than it being assigned as homework. Still, I am honored and intrigued; from what I can tell, what recommends Fair Coin most at the moment is that none of the class has read it yet, and probably hadn’t even heard of it before this.

I don’t know about how well Fair Coin will promote literacy, but I do know how thrilling it is to discover a new book and a new author, especially at a young age, and how much books have shaped the person I am today. I also know how difficult and challenging it is for teachers to get the texts they want for their students. When I was in high school, some of my teachers actually broke the law and photocopied some books at their own expense, because there was no room in the budget for classroom copies. I just can’t believe that schools and libraries have to cut back so much on books and reading programs when developing good reading and reasoning skills is so vital to lifelong success.

I do feel conflicted about personally advertising a Donors Choose project to raise money for a teacher to buy copies of my own book, since it seems a little self-serving. But it’s also, you know, for kids. So if you do have some money you can part with to get children excited about reading and young adult literature and science fiction, I hope you’ll consider donating. Or even consider giving to another classroom for a worthy cause; I’ve given to other projects at Donors Choose to purchase needed books, and the teachers and students have always been very appreciative–and I like knowing that my gift is having a direct impact on learning.

Gratefully,
Eugene

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first reading of FAIR COIN

I should have mentioned this sooner, but if you are in or near Philadelphia this Friday at 7:00 p.m., please come to the Philadelphia Fantastic reading night, where I will be reading from (and signing) Fair Coin for the first time ever! Some books will be available for sale at the event.

WHEN: Friday, March 23 @ 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Robin’s Bookstore & Moonstone Arts Center
110 A S. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-567-2615
http://www.robinsbookstore.com/

More info to come! I hope to see you there.

Feel free to RSVP at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/257072964383488/

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