This weekend is the UK Bookcrossing Unconvention (to distinguish it from the official international convention in April) here in Birmingham. I along with three bookcrossing friends have been organising it for almost a year – and I can hardly believe the weekend has finally arrived.
There will be plenty of bookish type fun for everyone, lots and lots of free books naturally on the famous book buffet, and much more besides. I have two large bags of books all prepped and ready to go – every single one looking for a new home. The unique ID number inside each book means it can be tracked by everyone who has come into contact with it – assuming people log it of course.
One of my main jobs as an Uncon organiser was to get some speakers for our programme of Saturday activities. We are therefore looking forward to hearing from:
Fiona Joseph and Katharine D’Souza – two local authors will be giving us a talk entitled ‘The Women of Birmingham: telling stories with heart from the heart of the country’
Guy Fraser Sampson – who will be talking about his new series of books which begins with Death in Profile – which I read recently. Guy has previously written books which continue the stories of the characters of Mapp and Lucia as well as non-fiction books about finance.
One speaker Lynn Shepherd is unwell and has had to withdraw, but author Simon Michael has valiantly stepped into the breach at very little notice. Simon, who worked as a lawyer for many years will be telling us about his legal thrillers set in the 1960s.
Our final speaker is from a small independent publisher Emma Press – who produce extraordinarily pretty little volumes of poetry here in Birmingham.
Before we get to the Saturday activities there will be a lovely informal gathering in our rooms (close to the bar) at the hotel on Friday evening with a literary quiz, Birmingham jigsaw, lots of board games, and catching up with friends old and new.
As well as all that there will be a brilliant raffle, quizzes, games and lots of socialising.
On Saturday night everyone will get into groups for evening meals at restaurants close to our hotel. Sunday morning the traditional bookcrossing activities involve sharing all the left over books with the public – but we have had to be more creative with that this year. With the Tory party conference starting next week and security tight – we can’t have hundreds of bagged up books lying around the city centre – still plenty of books will be shared with the people of Birmingham in several cafes with dedicated bookcrossing shelves and along the number 11 bus route.
So following this wonderfully exciting, weekend of bookishness and socialising – it might be a day or three before I get any more blog posts up. Please bear with me.