Sep 25, 2008

Nerdy Bird and the Cover to Cover

Chapter One: The Girl Who Read

Photo by onourminds at Flickr

I must have been crazy to think I was going to be able to write a full recap entry after being up for 24 hours. But you already know I'm crazy. I stood on line at 3 AM to read for the Harry Potter Cover to Cover Day hosted by Scholastic.

There was no way to accurately gauge what time I should get into the city for the event. It officially started at 8 AM but this was Harry Potter and NYC so to me that meant I had to get there as early as possible. The website said the first 100 people would get the special anniversary edition of Sorcerer's Stone AND another special collectors item and I absolutely couldn't miss that. So a little before 3, after not sleeping at all because that would have just made it worse and armed with my Dark Mark bracelet, I got into the city and avoided meeting eyes with any of the real crazies out at that time (there were plenty). I arrived at the front of the building where the event was being held and there was one person standing there.

He was wearing a green striped tie so I knew he must to be there for the same reason I was but I asked just to make sure. His name was Steve and yes, he was. Thank god! I planned ahead and brought a bunch of things to keep me occupied but luckily Steve was really nice and very talkative so the time just flew by. I found out he was part of the Meetup group, The Group That Shall Not Be Named. I was later told by other members of the group that I was awesome and had to join, no two-ways about it. Fearing a Bat-Bogey hex if I refused, I joined. Happily.

Other members of the group started showing up after 5 and slowly a few others trickled in as well. We had to move at one point because they were installing a red carpet. Yeah, I know, it's not the Academy Awards or anything, it was still awesome. By this time a bathroom trip was becoming a necessity and now that it was getting later places were actually open to use their facilities. Steve and I weren't even gone ten minutes and we came back to that delightful visitor passed out on OUR red carpet (see previous post). He was dispensed with as quickly as possible seeing as how a camera crew was on it's way and it was almost light out.

As it neared 8 AM the tension became unbearable. Steve relinquished his first-place-in-line status to me, which was very generous, but made me even more nervous. The entire day of reading was being broadcast live on the Scholastic website. Considering my job and the fact that I've been on TV every year since I was 7, you'd think I'd be fine. I wasn't.

Before anything started I was told two things. One, the chair that everyone was supposed to read from (the one J.K. Rowling sits in when she does readings in NY) was sitting in their store-front window, up three steps. I could have done it if there was a railing but there wasn't and I knew they wanted to move things along quickly and well, I'm anything but quick. So I was going to be sitting in front of it. Second, I was technically going to be second to read. First was Editor of all the HP books, Arthur Levine.

We were let in a few at a time, handed a release form, then given a marked copy of the new book. I had a few minutes to look it over then I was up! My passage began with, "When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, gray Tuesday our story starts..." and ended with, "As he drove toward town he though of nothing except a large order of drills he was hoping to get that day." It was actually a lot less than I thought we were going to have to read. I made it through just in time though, I was shaking so bad I was about to drop the book. When I was off camera my marked copy was taken in exchange for a new, un-marked copy and a beautiful 10th anniversary pin.

Photo by Boeffis at Flickr

Like I said, the whole thing was live on the internet so I didn't get to see myself read but the Scholastic website blog says they'll have a full video archive of the reading up next week. I also mentioned a news crew. NY 1 (a station I don't actually get in NJ) was there for a while and interviewed a bunch of us. When I got home later that day I checked to see if there was a video on there site and sure enough there was. I had been included in it! When I went to go find it again later it had been replaced with different segment from the event BUT I was in this one too! Unfortunately they used the same link so the older video is gone as far as I can tell but here's the link to the second video. The cool thing is, my brother, who gets NY 1, was able to see both pieces on TV. I was also interviewed by Columbia Radio News but I haven't had any luck finding that. There's a bunch of pictures on Flickr and since Scholastic suggested tagging them with CoverToCover it makes them really easy to find.

After all the reading had wrapped up, Scholastic announced they'd be doing the same when the anniversary for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came around. Will I do it again? Absolutely. Will I stay up all night and wait on line at 3 AM? Absolutely not. It was a fun experience but there was really no need for me to get there that early. Even at the time the event started there weren't anywhere near 100 people there. But it was a blast and I met loads of cool folks! Plus, it made my inner (and outer) nerd very happy.

Thanks to Scholastic for making it all happen and to all the employees for being so ridiculously nice to us all. See you next time!


6 comments:

Tyler Reed said...

We're so glad you enjoyed Cover to Cover Day, Jill! Your post was brilliant and I'm sharing it with everyone around the office. :-)

Hope to see you again soon!

--Tyler Reed
Scholastic Inc.

The Nerdy Bird said...

Thanks so much Tyler! I hope everyone is enjoying it. It was great meeting you and everyone else. Keep up the great work!

Randy said...

This is so cool! I wish they'd do something like this in other cities. Like Chicago. I'd be on that like Krypto on Atlas.

superduperman said...

So, is your life now complete? lol

Looks like had a awesome time but,
No potter glasses? No Potter wands? Capes? Broomsticks? Warthog attire? What can of Potter fan are you who doesn't dress up for the occasion?

Normal I hope.:)

The Nerdy Bird said...

You should suggest it to them Randy!

SDM, my life is far from complete, though this was a nice piece of the puzzle, I have many more nerd-related activities still left to do in my lifetime. :)

No, no dressing up for me, I actually don't have a HP costume. I have fake plastic glasses from another event but they are kid size and don't fit my abnormally large skull. I did however wear my Death Eater Dark Mark leather bracelet which is very subtle but I'm very fond of.

mandyannemurray said...

Still jealous. :)