Enid Blyton Society Day 2007
As this was my 1st Enid Blyton Day, I had been anticipating it for some time. To increase my knowledge of our stock for weeks I had been cataloguing and pricing any Enid Bylton books which were sitting in our store room. There was also great excitement as this website was being built all with the 12th of May in mind as a launch day. At times it was touch and go to see if everything was going to be ready in time, thankful everybody pulled together and Stella and Rose's Books were ready for the fair 1 only week early, which is most unusual.
On the 11th May, the difficult decisions are made, which books do we take and which books do we leave in the shop. Thankful as I had a day off I could escape these difficult decisions and the boxes of books were packed up by my colleagues. With everything packed ready to go the next day, all that was needed was a good nights sleep.
Finally the day had arrived, Up at 6 a.m. to leave at 6.40 am so that after a quick drive down the M4 and we arrive at Loddon Hall about 8.20am. Now the hard work starts, up with the tables, and bookshelves. Then in with the books and out of the boxes on to the shelves. Now you may think that the books just get thrown on the shelves as quickly as possible, however this is not the case as we try to sort the books so that are easily findable, so in order by series they go. After a few last minute touches the stand is all set up for the day and we can relax just for a minute or two and catch up with the organizers and other booksellers over breakfast.
10.30 arrives and the doors are opened! Now I must admit I was expected a surge of people trying to get to the best bargains first, however I was really pleasantly surprised everything was very serene and we had to wait a good 10 minutes before we had our 1st customer. Then we were underway and it was really nice to meet you all, and thank you to all of you who came up and said "We're on you Mailing List" I freely admit I did not quite know how to reply, but it was really appreciated and pleasing to hear.
At 12 O'clock Nicolett Jones gave us a talk. However folly for me, i got somewhat distracted by the fact that I could actually sit down for 5 mins and rest, therefore I cannot remember much about her talk. Except that it was very informative and gave us a great perspective on the "new" book industry and how Enid paved the way with self publicity.
For the next two hours we enjoyed a leisurely lunch and everything became nice and relaxed and I really began to enjoy my self, meeting people I had only spoken to on the phone, catching up with old friends, and indeed making new ones. Getting stumped by your requests, if only we could remember everything we would be able to answer all of you questions as easy as pie. It made me realize how much we rely on the computers to answer all those teasing questions, although sometimes we just don't know the answer no matter how hard we try to find it out.
Next came the talk from Duncan McLaren about his forthcoming book "This is Enid" which is going to be published in October. Duncan talked about how lots of work had gone into researching his book by visiting all of Enid former homes, and how he was putting a new twist to the life of Enid by getting personal impressions of her from the children who grew up to her. Then we were entertained by a reading of a number of letters which were going to be published in the book, but got pulled out.
Then we were Royally entertained by an impromtude performance from the Stars of the Famous Five Film "Julian & Dick" How they manage to keep us all so amused was just amazing, we enjoyed some stories about the filming and how they had small arguments as teenagers while in the Hotel the film company had put them up in. As far as I am concerned, I could listen to them for hours and hope they will do some more next year. Finally we enjoyed an extract of a Film from one of the Adventure Books, but why did we have to stop watching just when it reached a cliff hanging point as one of the children (sorry cannot remember who) is hanging from the eagles nest by their finger tips. Now we shall just have to read the book to find out what happens.
Last the easiest job of the day, we pack all the boxes up and repacked the car, and made our way home to arrive safely just 12 hours after we started. What a wonderful day, thank you so much to everybody we meet and especially to all of those who purchased something as we would not be able to do it without your support, and we hope to see you all in 2008.
For more information about the Enid Byton Day visit the Enid Blyton Society website at www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk
Text and photographs by Adam Parker