Barnes & Noble has these super cool events that people can go to. Some are fun activities for kids, some are readings, and some are signings. My first ever event at B&N was an author reading with my roommate, not knowing any of the books or authors because she wanted company… but, I ended up really enjoying it anyway! So, I picked up a calendar of events from the B&N at Union Square and waited and hoped that there would be an author I admired or a book I loved featured in one of the events. It took a few months, but finally, on the September calendar, was an announcement that Nicholas Sparks would be coming to speak about his newest book The Longest Ride and signing them as well. Now, many of you may never wish to see him or read any of his books, but I was all over this. I purchased his newest book a week ahead of time and left work early to be there an hour and a half before the event was supposed to start.
The B&N at Union Square is very unique due to its size (four floors!) and has a stage by the windows on the fourth floor. That is where Mr. Sparks was going to be. The event started at 7, and they had started letting in people at 4:30, so …. needless to say there were a lot of middle-aged ladies waiting in line in front of me. The line snaked around the fourth floor, down the stairs across the hall to the bathrooms down the stairs to the third floor and down the stairs to the second floor…. I was on the second floor. Worried that I wouldn’t get it, I started voicing my nervous opinions to the ladies next to me. They explained that the actual speaking part of the evening had been canceled due to the ginormous number of people that showed up, and they would just be letting in a floor at a time to get their books signed. PHEW.
Finally, at 8 p.m., after getting the first two floors upstairs to meet Nicholas, it was my floor’s turn. We walked up the stairs, escorted by several B&N employees and given instructions. Only The Longest Ride would be signed, he could only sign two books max, no photos to hold up the line (only before and after photos) and you were limited in the amount of time you could speak to him. Once we got on the stairs to the stage, I started frantically taking photos and his publicist yanked my book out of my hand and gave it to Sparks. He looked up at me and smiled and said “How are you doing today?” I responded with “Great! How are you? Are your hands getting tired?” and he replied, “Nope, I am a machine. Thanks for coming!” and that was all that was allowed to be said because the publicist was (in a crabby motion) pushing the next girl behind me up to the table. I grabbed a few more photos and admired my book. Even though I didn’t end up seeing him until about 9 p.m. and I didn’t get to tell him about how much I loved his movies or which book was my favorite (The Guardian–go buy it!), it was all in all an amazing experience.