Monday, August 09, 2004

A Celebration of Books and the Next Harry Potter

Wooo. When you find the Holy Grail, what else can you do? Why, you go look for the Lochness Monster!

Seriously, I attended yesterday afternoon the first year anniversary bash of the independent bookstore, Booktopia, in Eastwood, Libis. As part of the celebration, the owners had decided to invite loyal customers (yeah, I guess this includes me) for some free Japanese food, free books and discounts for a number of their stuff. They also conducted a little opening ceremony, like ribbon-cutting and money-throwing on the premises, to commemorate the event.

I also got to meet the owners, two sisters and their mother, who seem to be nice people. I got to talk to one of the sisters, who appreciated the fact that I was always greatly interested in the small press books they bring in. (Well, not always but most of the time.)

Since I couldn't stay long-- I had to attend a birthday party-- I wasn't able to enjoy the festivities. However, I was able to pick up a signed copy of Kelly Link's Stranger Things Happen (which I had reserved earlier after eyeing it a weekend ago).

I was also able to get-- as part of the free book giveaway per customer-- this doozy: an advanced reader's copy (ARC) of Susannah Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Oh yeah.

Now, I'm usually not one to be taken in by the publicity blitz conducted by publishers on the "next best thing" to read, especially a 800-page tome supposedly dubbed as the "Harry Potter for adults." However, I do admit that I was intrigued by the story and premise, which Neil Gaiman describes as "unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last seventy years." (For further details, check this site out.)

On a sidenote, the feeding frenzy over ARC copies of the book has supposedly generated US$100-bids on E-bay. It's that bad.

And now I have a copy. *stands in awe*

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