Posted on | September 2, 2014 | No Comments
I know I’ve been AWOL for a long time now, but I feel compelled to write today. You see, today was the launch date of David Mitchell’s new book, The Bone Clocks, and he was at Foyles signing their exclusive edition for two hundred-odd people. I was one of those lucky two hundred, and I was giddy – much like a teenage girl – at the prospect of meeting one of my favourite authors.
We arrived at the auditorium at 16:20, and then queued for about forty minutes, anxiously waiting for the clock to hit 17:00. We struck up a conversation with the man standing in front of us – a self-confessed “book collector,” who not only lives in Stratford-upon-Avon, but in the last week has also attended Sarah Waters’ talk at Nottingham and Murakami’s book-signing at the Waterstones in Piccadilly.
I had intended to go for the Murakami book signing, but come Saturday, I wasn’t feeling great, so I passed. Boy, in hindsight, that was the right decision – people queued from 16:00 on Friday (yes, they camped overnight!). The man we were talking to said he got there by 05:00 on Saturday morning, and he was 168 in line. Only the first 200 customers would be lucky enough to get their copy of the book signed!
And then the conversation turned to David Mitchell. It was his book-signing after all. The man believed that Cloud Atlas should have won the Booker Prize in 2004, and we heartily agreed. I couldn’t recall who won the Booker that year, but this guy – he just knew. And then the lady behind us joined in the conversation as well. It is so incredibly invigorating to be surrounded by people who know and love their books. I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt happier. Or more at home. Talking about books – that’s all I want.
Sharp at 17:00, David Mitchell was there, and the winner of the competition announced. Yes, one lucky winner received all his books. Nope, it wasn’t me. Maybe it’s the envy talking, but considering the new illustration of Cloud Atlas, I’m almost relieved not to have that on my shelf!
Finally, when it was my turn, I went up, and just stood there grinning like a moron, completely tongue-tied. I didn’t know what to say! Yes, I’m mortified. But I marvel at his patience – he added dedications, signed as many copies as people brought to him, and even signed copies of his older works. It really was amazing. I wish I’d got all his works signed, in hindsight. However, I do have a personalised signed copy of his new book, and for now, that’s good enough for me.
Happy happy days.