10. Collect seven books signed by the author.
5. Visit fifty new places.
(17) Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square
I have shocking confession for a book lover and publishing postgraduate: before this year, I had never made it to the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The years I was actually living in Edinburgh I was working, and oddly a festival job often leaves you little time to enjoy the festival itself. Other times, it can be difficult to find people to attend book events with. This year, having completed a course full of like-minded people, it would have been easy had we not been nearing dissertation deadline day. In the end, I took my mum along, which turned out to be a great idea as she bought me a couple of books as a reward-in-advance for completing my dissertation.
The reason I simply had to go this year was because Matt Haig, author of one of my favourite books, The Humans, was making an appearance. It was a reading and Q&A along with Kevin Maher, author of The Fields, and both were funny and interesting. Definitely worth the study break! It was brilliant that during the Q&A session they actually touched on the subjects of author branding and social media marketing, so it was almost like studying really…
It was a great atmosphere, with the sun shining while we waited (and with very civilised queuing, I must say). Rupert Everett was doing a signing just an hour after the one I went to, and I was so tempted to stick around because he is Famous (with a capital F), but since I had no idea what on earth he was signing it might have been a tad obvious.
I did, however, leave with two more signed books, including my beloved copy of The Humans.
I was a bit of an idiot when meeting Matt Haig. I’m not sure I’d have been as starstruck meeting Rupert Everett, to be honest; at least I could throw out random My Best Friend’s Wedding and Shrek quotes. He signed the book anyway, and Kevin Maher was lovely.
I also picked up one of the spineless editions of A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, a book I had spotted in Waterstones and always regretted not buying – despite being unsure of whether I actually like seeing the binding. Regardless, it is a great book for the collection!
I got my final signed book at the launch of Tony Black’s new novel, His Father’s Son. It’s a departure from his previous crime novels, but hopefully his fans will give this book a chance. (In my opinion, it’s far more interesting than crime.) He creates a really distinctive voice and I think it should do well for him.
So there we have it! Goal ten: complete!