A Book Blogger's Conference Lament

Lynn: So there we were at the airport, 5:30 am, suitcases in hand and giddy with anticipation. ALA Midwinter was a short flight away and we would be set loose on the publisher booths in the exhibit hall, ready to scoop up all the enticing arcs for the new publishing season! Dinners, friends, committees and non-stop talk about books, books and more books! We had a mostly empty suitcase with us for schlepping our booty home. Then we met our first obstacle. “Checking bags,” said the airline clerk, “That will be $40 dollars for two bags.” “$40.00!” I squawked indignantly, “First it is physically impossible for two fashion-conscious women to pack what is essential to life in one carry-on bag! Secondly, an extra suitcase is required in order for us to support our addiction to new books! “Will you paying for that with cash?” asked the clerk, oblivious to my pain. Clearly the airlines are underestimating the importance of allowing librarians, teachers and most importantly, book bloggers, support for the role we play in the national morale. In these harsh economic times, people need the solace of new books and those of us who read and review and blog are filling a critically important role! In fact as I now think about it, shouldn’t there be a cabinet position created? Secretary of Books and Reading? Then we could all thumb our noses at the airlines and travel on Air Force One! Stay tuned! It is only Saturday and already our hotel room is filling up with the most enticing books.

Cindy: It’s Monday now and it’s snowing in Denver and if our flights are not canceled we will soon be facing the airline luggage dilemma again. Being here for the announcement of the youth media awards was worth haggling over luggage. It was an exciting morning and we can’t wait to get home and get online to read the reactions. Having both chaired the Printz Committee, Lynn and I are going to avoid Monday morning quarterbacking (doesn’t hurt that we are quite pleased with the picks!) In that vein, we would like to hear which award pick made you the happiest and why. To get you started, here are ours:

Lynn: Since I was struggling to choose between Octavian and Tender Morsels as my favorite book of the year, I am ecstatic that both of these extraordinary books received this well-deserved recognition in a stellar Printz field.

Cindy: I’m with Lynn on her choices (and why can she never stick to the choice limit?) I’m thrilled that Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal for its eerie storytelling but also for its examination of family and the difficult journey toward independence. Can’t to hear the speech. Be still my heart.

Cindy & Lynn: And now we’re eager to get home to read our copies of Jellicoe Road. Congratulations to all the committee members for their fine work and to the authors and illustrators for their awards!

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

6 Comments on "A Book Blogger's Conference Lament"

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  1. Like both of you, I was thrilled both with Graveyard book taking the Newbery and Nation getting a Printz Honor. both are terrific novels. I was hoping that my personal favorite of the year, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, would get some medal love, but it wasn’t to be.

    Also, hooray for Laurie Halse Anderson for the Edwards and Elizabeth Bunce for the inaugural William Morris award. I’ve read Jellicoe Road and am looking forward to forward to the discussion of it.

  2. scopenotes@gmail.com' Scope Notes says:

    I like your new digs!
    I was watching the media awards webcast from Michigan – sounds like it was a blast being there. With all these freshly-minted award winners announced, I have my reading work cut out for me (in this case that’s a good thing).

  3. sdillon@lrei.org' Stacy says:

    Wasn’t it an exciting awards morning? Wow. Nice to see you over at Booklist!

  4. angela.craft@gmail.com' Angela Craft says:

    I felt a little disappointed in myself that even with all of the voracious reading I’ve been doing the last few months, I didn’t manage to read a single award winner (though I did read three of the four Printz honor books – I’ve mentioned how much I love The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, right?). However, I was ecstatic to check out the BBYA winners and see that The Hunger Games made it into the top ten list. Because I’ve mentioned how much I love that one too, right?

  5. I love your new “outfit” Blue looks very nice on both of you. Like Lynn, I was torn between Tender and Octavian, and I can’t believe none of us read Jellicoe. But I love a surprise, as long as its a nice one, and this one was! Pleased to see my girl Frankie on the honor list, too.

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