Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to attend my first Utah Book Blogger Social, which has been held semi-annually for the past few years. It was hosted by the lovely Natasha of Maw Books Blog, Suey of It’s All About Books, and Becky of One Literature Nut and included aspiring writers and Utah authors as well as bloggers. Social wuss that I am, I was a little nervous to go by myself, uncertain if any of the bloggers I’d met previously would be in attendance. I was so happy to find my doubts unfounded and left wondering why I’d had them at all. Everyone was very cordial and friendly and where obsessions likes books are shared, conversation is never lacking. At first I was just looking forward to meeting the bloggers I was already familiar with via their blogs and Twitter handles (Natasha, Megan of Posey Sessions, and Suey), but meeting bloggers I hadn’t heard of previously (Christy of Dearest Dreams and Catie of Book Bound) and catching up with old blogger friends (Emily’s Reading Room) was just as fun. Here are a few photos (all taken by Natasha – bad blogger me forgot to grab her camera in the hustle and bustle that is leaving the kids and DH behind):
This is the book I ended up with (which is actually an ARC):
This ARC donated by the author herself was the hot item of the night:
(You can see the rest of Natasha’s photos on her Facebook page.)
So the schedule for the evening was pretty simple – eat dinner/general mingling, the dreaded introductions, and the book exchange. I wouldn’t have guessed that the introductions would be my favorite part of the night, but they were. I definitely don’t enjoy standing and talking in front of big crowds but I liked hearing from everyone else. Who knew bloggers and writers were so witty? It was so fun to meet (and laugh) with everyone this way.
Lastly Natasha talked about book blogging in Utah and how it’s grown exponentially since the first social, when there was only ten in attendance. On Saturday there were about 60 in attendance, filling the room at Golden Corral to capacity. (There are over 80 Utah bloggers listed on the Book Blogs Ning.) She knows of no other state that has as many book bloggers. Likewise, we have a lot of authors. Over 440 books have already been added to the Goodreads list Natasha created called Books by Utah Authors. To get a taste, here’s a list of just a few authors from Utah: Shannon Hale, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, Ally Condie, Carol Lynch Williams, Jessica Day George, Bree Despain, Emily Wing Smith, Brandon Sanderson, Sara Zarr, Kristen Chandler, Mette Ivie Harrison, A.E. Cannon, Kiersten White, Matthew Kirby, Louise Plummer and Lisa Mangum.
Thanks again to the hosts for a great night! I hope to attend again in August.