Thursday, June 07, 2012

Book Expo 2012: Day 2

The names of three people can sum up Book Expo on Wednesday for me: Ian Buchsbaum, my son and fellow January Magazine contributor; Tom Angleberger, author of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and the forthcoming The Secret of the Fortune Wookie; and Chris Alexander, author of the forthcoming Star Wars Origami.

Ian has been corresponding with Tom for many months now, and this morning they finally met, at a Book Expo presentation stage.

Tom was there to introduce booksellers to his latest, about the Fortune Wookie, which involves an origami fortune teller-like Wookie. Tom brought along Chris, who’s written his own Star Wars origami book. Both are due in August. Before long, these three were fast friends, and Tom had Ian come up on stage to help him demonstrate how to make the Fortune Wookie. Later, Chris helped the audience make origami Boba Fett figures. After the event, both held autograph sessions and paid special attention to Ian, and later in the day Ian met Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, Big Nate author Lincoln Peirce, Goosebumps author R.L. Stine. Needless to say, my 11-year-old had quite a day.

Several times throughout the day, I was struck by the idea that while we all have favorite books and authors, while we all love a wonderful story, what we all love about books is that they’re an opportunity for people to connect. For authors to connect with readers -- and vice versa. Today, Ian felt that connection profoundly, and I believe Tom and Chris did too. Today, which would normally have been about the business of books, was about the emotions they convey and inspire. What better way to spend a Wednesday than watching a child’s spirit light up, thanks to five very kind men and the stories they tell.


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