Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Looking back at Day 1 in New York!

Last Wednesday I arrived in New York City excited for the next few days to come.  As I made my way through LaGuardia, I finally passed through the sliding doors and was met with a muggy heat.  As I looked for the place to catch a cab, I wouldn't have guessed that the long line in front of me was in fact the place to do just that.  So I got in line, rolling around my bag, which wasn't to heavy at the time, although that can't be said about my bag's state on my return two days later.  Luckily, the line was moving at a quick pace, I guess that should be expected in the city of brisk walking and zooming cabs.

I finally arrived at the apartment of a relative, after much traffic and confusion on the part of my cab driver, and after catching up and eating a delicious tuna melt, I made my way over to Scholastic.  I wanted to go before the actual conference to figure out how far it was and also to visit the store :)  I had also been able to schedule a meeting a few weeks before to meet with senior editor and author Lisa Sandell to talk about the publishing industry for children's books.  It was so great to meet with her and she had wonderful advice for someone considering entering the publishing world, so thanks so much to you Lisa!

After the meeting, I made my way down the escalators, around the corner and into what can only be described as Scholastic come to life in the form of a bookstore:

Now I'm the type of person that just loves to sit and walk around in bookstores, so you can imagine what it was like to be here in this beautiful store!  I can't imagine how much fun a child would have here, seeing their favorite books or perhaps some new books to discover; seeing Mark Teague's dinosaurs as life sized statues and walking into the Magic School Bus (it's the yellow at the right there).  Now, if there's something I like to buy almost as much as books, it's posters, especially if they are reading/books related.  At the end of my wanderings in the store I migrated towards this metal bin with posters.  I wasn't sure what they were and when I asked I was led over to the register where they had twelve BEAUTIFUL posters on display around the desk.  In celebration for Scholastic's 90th anniversary, they commissioned twelve posters made by some of the most loved children's book illustrators.  Here they are below:
Photo Credit: http://store.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/LandingPageView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10051&jspStoreDir=SSOStore&pageName=deluxposters
Now, maybe someone else would have decided that when they finally left this store they would go home for the day or perhaps somewhere other than another bookstore... but that's not me.  My initial plan was to walk from Scholastic to Books of Wonder, a children's bookstore in NYC.  So I left the wonderfully beautiful (and air conditioned!) Scholastic building and made my way to the right.  However I realized I should have made my way to the left... so I turned around and now I was on my way.  Walking in a big city, especially New York, is always exciting, there's so much to see, beautiful old buildings juxtaposed with modern creations, old and young walking along with you.  As I walked, this is one of the beauties that came into view:

Walking, walking, walking.... and then all of a sudden up on my right what should I see but...
THE STRAND!!!  I've wanted to come to this haven for booklovers for years, who knew that I would run into it by accident.  If you're not familiar with the Strand Bookstore, it's one of, if not the largest independent bookstore, it houses a mere 18 MILES! of books.  There were tons of people inside and there were thousands of books in front of my eyes, I think I probably could have just stayed here forever.

Of course, in a place like this you can easily get overwhelmed, but it's kind of a good overwhelmed, so I let my self float on my overwhelmed-ness for a few minutes, and then decided to hone in my travels through the Strand by making my way to the Children's and Young Adult section (second floor, left hand corner).  

There were just so many incredible books and especially in terms of the children's books it seems as though there wasn't as much of the commercialized, junky books that so many kids unfortunately read and that you find in major bookstores.  The books that stood out were quality reads, both old and new.  If any of you read my post a few weeks ago on Norton annotated editions, you'll be happy to know that they had many of these books here, at great prices, and they even had one paper back edition of Hans Christian Andersen's tales!  I was shocked I thought that only existed in my dream :)  I started out carrying the books I was hoping to possibly get and then I finally acquired a bag, although by the end I had more books that I could buy or even bring back with me on the plane, so I reluctantly put many back in their place.  Here are some of books I brought home with me and some that I left in their current home at the Strand:

After my escapade in the Strand, I finally felt tired enough to make my way home and call it a day.

Look for my next post on Day 2, my experience at the Publishing Perspectives conference!


  1. I'm so happy for you! It sounds like a perfect kind of trip for you. Glad you had time to explore all of the books... and pick up a few!

    I don't remember if I blogged about it, but I took a class (online) about publishing children's books this spring. Yes, I've thought about it... I'm still unsure, but not really pursuing it right now. Anyway, I'm excited for you!

    1. That class sounds very interesting, did you like it? I'm sure one day you'll be able to do it if you want to :) I've been writing this one story for a long time but haven't devoted enough time to it yet... I'm hoping maybe this summer I can take some time to work on it more seriously. But yes it was a great trip and the conference and book exploring were amazing!!