Over September 8-11 in Winston-Salem, NC a small nonprofit book shop puts on a fantastic weekend. Mostly one day event though if we are being honest. A great weekend spent a few hours away from home with a librarian in training friend Ness.
Friday September 8th
Friday morning was spent with Jessamyn Stanley in a pretty full yoga class. She was amazing and delightful to meet in person. I left feeling more rejuvenated than I thought possible from bending my body all around. Jessamyn brought a lot of light into the room and is someone I will always recommend folks attend her classes/lessons when possible.
Later that day we did what all book nerds do and explored the town. A quick stop by this 30 ft coffee pot. We drove by it a few times in a row before going on foot to find it. It was interesting. Either way it lead to a great lunch at Willow’s Bistro (fried green tomato BLT)!
Then we hit up the new Forsyth County Public library. It’s brand new in the middle of downtown and only a few blocks from the Bookmarks store. I HIGHLY recommend you go check it out. Seriously look at this place! It’s expansive has terraces, a great teen section featuring a video game area! It was great to wander around and check out the space being created there for residents. Bonus is the coffee shop just inside the library! Perfect to sip while you browse.
Also this amazing book sculpture out front is perfect for instagram!
Our last stop of the day was Bookmarks to grab my go to souvenir. I love getting a clothbound classic to set on my new bookshelf. It’s a great way to get something on a trip that is extra special. Bookmarks was an adorable store to visit. They had tons of great bookish merch too. I grabbed the older tees to use in a t-shirt quilt I want to make as well as the Frosted Beard Studios ravenclaw candle.
Doing the most bookworm thing possible we spent friday night pampering ourselves in the hotel room with face masks and reading books.
The festival started at 10:30 or so. We arrived pretty early to browse the shop tent. I picked up more books (oops??) to get signed and we slowly discovered where the coffee was hiding. It’s the same little shop that is in the library, but also located in the art center downtown.
We parked our butts in the main tent to watch Leigh Bardugo discuss super heroes and villains. Leigh was amazing. I bailed early though to go get a book signed by Sherrilyn Kenyon the author that got me into romance and especially paranormal romance.
We wandered around the very small shopping selection, but I did get these prints from Bookish Birds along with a punny lip balm called A Wrinkle in Lime (and the coconut).
Finally we ended our day with the longest line ever? Probably the longest line of the entire event honestly. Luckily we were in the first 10 or so people. This line was to meet Leigh Bardugo. I got my copy of Wonder Woman: Warbringer signed and can’t wait to start reading it. I also stopped by to see S. Jae-Jones who was super sweet and talked to her about her traveler’s notebook! Can’t wait to read Shadowsong!
One last selfie with Ness to include in our happy mail to a friend. Signed copies of Jessamyn Smith’s Every Body Yoga and Wonder Woman: Warbringer. I listened to and finished The Historian on my drive back down south.
I can’t say that I recommend traveling too far for this festival, but if it’s within a few hours it’s worth a trip. I would plan to stay for one night and leave on Saturday evening. Most of the events are packed into one day which means making the choice between panels or signings.
See you next year Bookmarks!