Postcards from SIBA: Books everywere

Right now I have books in places I didn't know I had.

I'm in trouble here. 

Welcome to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, day two in Savannah. If this were a B-movie, it would be called The Revenge of the Printed Word, except it's a good thing, so maybe not. 

I had a whole blog in my head about all the authors I met today and why you need to read their books, but I climbed 15 floors — OK, a lot of it was down, but still, 15, ya'll — and I carried a literal ton of books and I signed 100 books and I'm beat all to hell, so you'll have to settle for a short explanation and a list.

The whole point of SIBA is supporting indie bookstores, so authors like me attend on request of our publishers to chat up our books. One of the requirements of attending is that our publisher provide 100 copies of our book and we agree to sign it. This is so booksellers can familiarize themselves with our books (and therefore want to sell it), and one of the benefits of being an author attending SIBA is that I get the same books booksellers get, too. Which means I was handed a shit ton of books today and there isn't a single one I don't want to read. 

When I say a literal ton, I mean a literal ton. Every available surface of my hotel room is covered in advance reader copies of books I can't wait to read, and I still have a day and a half to go. Also, I tapped out early — I can collect another round of books if I drag my sorry ass back down to the lobby at 10 p.m., which I am most certainly doing because, hey, books.

Here's my short list of the nine million books I want to read before we get to CL's special book issue in December:

  • The Potlikker Papers, John T. Edge
  • Shadow Land, Eiizabeth Kostova
  • A Lowcountry Heart, Pat Conroy
  • Lock and Key, Ridley Pearson
  • Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
  • Lowcountry Voodoo, Carol Marsh Longmeyer
  • Focus on Playwrights, Susan Johann
  • Ill-Mannered Ghosts, Nicole Sarrocco
  • Among the Living, Jonathan Rabb

I had a great time today not collecting books, too — ice cream at Leopolds, scavenging through the city with Shellie Rushing Tomlinson (Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce) and yes, talking to people about my book. I started reading Pat Conroy's last work, I hung out with the cool kids from Inkwood and I found out Ridley Pearson is a mighty nice guy (his kids' names are Storey and Paige and I think he might be my spirit animal) who will talk to me endlessly about  hanging out on It's a Small World after Walt Disney World closes.

Also, I'm pretty sure I have close to 150 new favorite books.

Getting them home is my problem.

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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