Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ontario Book Blogger's Meet-Up

What happens when you cram over 70 bookish people into a small room?

Craziness! That's what happens! On Saturday I headed up to the annual Ontario Blog Squad Meet- up in Toronto with fellow Kitchener blogger, Sarah. This event was a chance for all us book bloggers, publishers, and authors in Ontario to finally meet in person and connect. Here's a little more about what happened, and all the books I brought home with me.

The Event!

The Ontario Blog Squad Meet 2012 - Oh hey! That's Maureen McGowan up there! ^^^^

So we arrived a little late, we overshot one of the streets we were supposed to turn onto, which means that when we got there everyone was already chatting away, trading books, and meeting each other. We were greeted by Michele from Just a Lil Lost and Liz from Midnight Bloom Reads. I think we even got the last table! We had a wonderful view of the waterfront though and sat in the section with many of the organizers which means we got to talk to a lot of awesome people :D

When I arrived, my first goal was to get rid of all the books I brought with me to give away so I managed to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time, even just for a minute. It was incredibly surreal to see so many of the faces I recognized from reading other blogs (and watching videos), some of them I've known for over a year or more! And then not even having enough time to talk and meet everyone properly because there were just so many people there!

I finally met Ashley from Book Labyrinth! And briefly, Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams of Books!

Michele from Just a Lil Lost is completely awesome, and Rachel from Reading Timbits was so fun to talk to as well.

There were 9 authors at the event and I had the opportunity to meet two of them - Maureen McGowen and Joanne Levy. I talked to Maureen about Y.A. books and she mentioned how much more open this area of publishing is compared to adult. Authors have so much more freedom to write what they want. This probably explains why I love Y.A. so much. Nothing beats a creative, well written book!

After lunch we had a bit of trivia and I won Joanne's book so she came over and signed it for me. She also handed out little gel bracelets to everyone.

There is probably so much more I am missing. It was so overwhelming I felt a bit shell-shocked for part most of it! However, I think this will inspire me and a few others to get together with our fellow bloggers a bit more often, having the opportunity to chat and get to know each other even better.

There are some wonderful pictures and behind-the-scenes stuff on the official site if you are curious to see what else happened!

The books! 

About 3 weeks before the meet-up on Saturday, Avery from Avery's Book Nook started a list for anyone who wanted to either trade or giveaway books. I was able to give away a bunch of my books that I no longer wanted, and this is what I got in return!

                                                       From Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

                                                         Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

                                                       Secret Letters by Leah Scheier

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Belles by Jen Calonita

Fated by Alyson Noel

The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

Envy by Gregg Olsen

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Minder by Kate Kaynak

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

The Opposite of Tidy by Carrie Mac

Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

(You) Set Me On Fire by Mariko Tamiki

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

(I borrowed these ones!)

Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys

The Age of Miracles


I am so excited for these books. I can't wait to read them all. I was bad though and brought home more than I brought with me :O

At the event we all received a goodie bag (which of course, contained more books!). Okay, in my defense for the above, I had absolutely *no idea* there would be so many books in the goodie bag, and then they just kept handing out more books and prizes too. I guess next year I will know better.

Here's what I came home with from the publishers who donated books for the event:

The Gypsy King
The Lost Prince 
The Iron King
Etiquette & Espionage
Song of the Vikings
Sarah Thornhill
How I Came to Sparkle Again
Red Moon
Small Medium at Large
Among Others
Natural Order
Blue Magic
The Edge of Courage
Never Knowing

I made a Goodreads shelf for all the books I brought home with me, which is why I'm being lazy and not listing the authors for this giant pile!

And of course...

This was by far the BIGGEST book haul of my entire life. I brought home 37 books with me (35 to keep and 2 borrowed).

I am so happy I had the chance to go to the 2012 Ontario Blog Squad Meet. I hope I get to meet you all again next year too!

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  1. The event was absolutely amazing and I think that you've done a fantastic job of sharing your experience. I'm having so much fun reading everyone's recaps! They all interconnect, and yet each is so distinct and unique. :)

  2. How I wish I could have made it to this one! I had such a blast last year, and hated that I couldn't attend this one!

    Great goodies and glad to hear you had fun!!

    1. I'm thinking of doing something small in the new year for us bloggers that live around Kitchener. Would have been great to finally meet you too!

  3. SO many great books you traded and got!! :) Your several overflowing bags definitely looked like they were filled with great reads.. glad you got them all home safe! :)

    Lovely to have sat next to you, and glad you enjoyed the event, food & your lovely view out to the water! :)

  4. What a great event! And did I see you have Sever??? I hope you enjoy all these new books to read. :)

  5. This event was craziness! I agree it was kind of overwhelming, but definitely so fun. I wish we could have stayed longer since the signing afterwards didn't work out anyway. But it was so, so nice to meet you finally. I might be coming to Kitchener to visit a friend soon, so maybe we can get together for coffee or something.

    1. Yes, I felt bad that you left early and then didn't get in to the signing :( I would LOVE to meet you again. Let me know if you have time to get together when you visit Kitchener!