One part of being a blogger (for me, at least) is attending local bookish events. I love meeting fellow book lovers and it thrills me to meet authors whose work I’ve loved and to learn more about new-to-me writers. Mostly, at these events, there will be some sort of speech/Q&A section where the author(s) talk about their most recent book, and afterwards, perhaps after some mingling, the author will usually meet fans and sign their books.
I’ve been lucky enough to attend some of these events, and I have to say that talking to authors and getting my books signed has been both exciting and nerve-wracking. I will never forget how flustered I was talking to Heather O’Neill at the #ReadWomen2014 event at the Toronto Public Library after loving and raving about her book The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. And the collector in me admits: I loved getting my books signed.
I love that it marks an occasion; I love that I can go back to that title page and remember the personal connection that was made when an author’s pen touched the paper. As a book lover, there really isn’t much that can beat that feeling.
However, I also know people who are not as enthusiastic about book signings as I am. They wouldn’t turn down a signed book, per se, but they also don’t seek out authors to get their books signed (even if they loved the author’s book). This made me wonder… what is your preference?
Do you jump at the chance to get your books signed, or are you just as happy to meet the author without asking them to sign something?
7 thoughts on “Monday Musings | Signed Books”
Interesting topic! I must admit I’ve only ever had one or two books signed by authors. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’m not crazy about book signings or because I’ve just never been in a city when my favourite authors are there too.
I agree that it is a very nerve-racking experience, though. I remember once getting a book signed and being terribly nervous because it was an author whose books I’d loved since I was a teenager. And I seem to remember I said something silly, and made a bit of a fool of myself, although the author was very patient and friendly with the weird Australian girl who was bumbling along about how much she loved the author’s books.
It is definitely a good experience hearing authors speak, and seeing them face-to-face. Reading is usually a solitary experience, we can feel quite divorced from the author. Sometimes I think it’s nice to remember the person behind the words. 🙂
I definitely love to get books signed! It’s such a cool moment for me to meet the person behind a book that I love, and having them sign it is like a souvenir that I actually had that moment. Not even so much as a “look what I got!”, but a reminder to myself anytime I see the book on my shelf and open it up and go, “remember when that happened?” -relives moment of awesome-
I love to get books signed too. As you say, it gives your edition some extra meaning. It is just wonderful to meet (however briefly) an author you really admire and be able to say thank you, or that you loved their work. And I also relate to your collector instinct – it makes the book special and unique!
I rarely have the opportunity to meet authors, but it’s funny you should be writing about this now, because I actually made it to Word on the Street in Halifax this weekend for the first time in years. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it so I wasn’t at all organized for it. I also had two of my kids with me. I just thought I’d walk around and enjoy it for the time that I had (45 minutes). Well, I’m kicking myself for not being prepared – in the time that I was there, there were 3 different writers whose books I could have had sign if I had brought them. But, to answer your question, I don’t worry too much about book signings. I rarely get the opportunity for it. It would be nice, but I’d rather take the chance just to tell them I liked their book.
I’ve only been to two book signings. the first was Philip Hensher and no-one else was queuing and the books were £18 each! The second time was at a Maggi Hambling talk. She was ever so abrupt when I went to get my book signed.
It’s pretty rare that I get the chance to have my book signed. I kind of lose my shit and get really shy when I’m around favourite authors though. My tendency is to skip it because it’s terrifying.
I like having that memento from the signing. It’s not so much the signed book (though that is spectacular) it’s having a tangible something to remind yourself about that moment. Because sometimes you don’t get to have a picture with the author so all you have is that signed book. Thanks for posting about this! It’s really made me think about how I approach signings and why it is that I love having signed books on my shelf!