Thankfully after some much needed sleep and amazing Israeli food, Friday morning boded much better than the previous. Josh and I headed to Javits bright and early for the second annual Book Blogger Convention. I was really excited about this part of the week because I was looking forward to meeting up with other bloggers and learning great tips from the experts. However, the whole thing left me disappointingly underwhelmed. The panels I attended weren't as informative as I'd expected, and I was not very impressed by the amount of swag for the taking. I guess it all just seemed like it would be so much bigger than it was. I feel terrible saying this, and maybe it was just me. Either way, I don't think I'll be attending next year.
Because of our shared disappointment, Josh and I left early to spend our last afternoon exploring the city. Before that, however, we thought it was a good idea to visit UPS first to ship all our goodies back. Dozens of blocks and a few hours later, I said goodbye to my babies (all 106 lbs of them) and entrusted them with Billy. I may or may not have personally threatened his existence should something have happened to said babies.
After that fiasco, we headed to The Strand first to pay homage to one of the oldest bookstores in the city (and to Dash and Lily, of course). To say The Strand is a booklover's heaven just doesn't quite cover it. With over 2.5 million books covering 18 miles of shelves in a 55,000 square foot store, it is the mecca. I could have spent
Sticking with the theme, we walked a few blocks over to the famed Veselka for dinner. (Have you caught the theme yet?) We ordered borscht (not too bad!) and pirogies (so so good) and reflected on our week in New York. Back in March 2009 I read this book called Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and it blew me away. I could not believe that this book - this book that so perfectly captured so many of the thoughts and feelings I could never convey to words - was written for young adults. This was the book that led me to Jessica Darling, to The Book Thief, to Laurie Halse Anderson, to John Green. This was the book that led me to blogging. This was the book that ultimately lead me to New York. No matter what I read, what I discover, or how much my love for YA grows - it all comes back to that one book. It all comes down to Nick and Norah. So it's really no wonder I spent my last night in the city in a Ukrainian diner reflecting on just how far I've come. It was truly a great week.