Our first stop was Barnes and Noble to get the books and our wristbands. While we were there we had a bite to eat in the cafe and saw some lovely art along the ceiling. I don't know if all of the stores have them, but ours doesn't, so I thought this was especially cool.
After this we started walking toward The Strand. I'd never been before and wanted to be sure to check it out this time around. While we were walking we saw a payphone. Now this might not seem like a big thing to you, but in our little town, all of the payphones were removed within the last ten years. My son will probably never see one in real life. To think that one of the biggest cities in the world still has them all over the place is, at the very least, amusing.
There it is! The Strand! 18 miles of books and oh my god was it beautiful.
This was all I could see from just inside the door and it is very deceptive. This place is enormous. It goes all the way back and around the corner, plus there are three floors and a basement! We couldn't see it all, but here are some highlights.
The shelves over the checkout are so pretty! What a rainbow!
There were a bunch of these signs on some of the tables relating to their genre or, in this case, the books that had been banned. I finally managed to pick up a copy of Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.
The children's section is tucked in the corner on the second floor and had way more books than I would've expected.
I didn't know this would be here, but it was a great surprise. On the second floor near the stairs + elevator is the bench from the movie The Fault in Our Stars! We settled in for a good while to enjoy this piece of cinematic and literary history.
I liked this sign in one of their front windows on the way out and had to snap a pic. There are so many novels that could've landed in this display, it was nice to see it up front and center.
After The Strand we headed to the library where the Library Lions, Patience and Fortitude, are. On the way up Library Way, I noticed these plaques in the floor and took a few pictures of the ones I liked best.
Then, the Lions!
I can never remember which is which, but it was so much fun to see them again. We sat down for a bit because there was a lot of walking to get to them! We saw several tour buses going by and everyone was taking pictures. Of course there were a load of pigeons and let me tell you, those little buggers are fearless!
There was also this cool fountain off to the side that I'd never seen before. Either I didn't notice it or it was added somewhat recently. Our last trip here was in 2010 and I think there was construction going on at the time.
Afterwards we stopped in Kinokuniya, a Japanese goods store that had anime, manga, books, and a great cafe on the top floor where we had some lunch before going back to Barnes and Noble for the Ransom Riggs event.
When we got there they'd set up this photo opportunity and I couldn't resist.
There was a bit of an interview portion and a Q+A before the signing. While we were waiting I actually got to finish the first book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, while my husband continued reading Hollow City. It's a good thing we both got a copy of Library of Souls or there might be some fighting when we were both ready to read it!
Ransom Riggs was such a great guy. He signed and personalized my copy of Library of Souls AND signed my copy of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I didn't expect it because usually the authors won't sign extra stuff that you bring, but he did! I wish we'd remembered that Jon (husband) had Hollow City in his bag so we'd have a whole signed set.
There was also a big surprise! Tahereh Mafi was there to support her husband! I was so surprised because it didn't say on the tour list that she would be attending. And, and! Jenny Han showed as well to support her friends!
I made sure to dash over to the Young Adult section and pick up the books of theirs that I was missing. They were so sweet and agreed to sign them for me. It was a highlight to the day, especially since with all the walking we did around town my legs were killing me by that point.
I don't think I've ever had such fun at an event. I hope to go to many more in the future!