The day started out pretty normal. Gloomy weather, tons of traffic and many sighs of frustration as I navigated my way into Manhattan. An hour and a half later, I was at work. Work was as wonderful as work could be, then we found out that the rail – which I usually take – was suspended, and later operating with serious delays. The work day ended and as I walked to my car, being rather thankful that I sat through the extra hour of traffic to have my car with me, I couldn’t help being a little charged for the tea I was about to consume.
I met with Anna, Christina and Rebecca; we sat for tea at Tea and Sympathy, on Greenwich (pronounced GREH nich) Avenue. Tea and Sympathy is a pretty small store, they seat 21 people in the entire restaurant, so going on a Monday evening has the two perks of finding a great parking stop right in the front of the store, as well as being able to get a seat rather quickly.
We shared our meal of scones with jam and clotted cream (yum!!), bangers and mash and chicken and leek pie (pretty much the yummiest pie I’ve ever tasted!). I had the blackcurrent tea, which I like to take without milk and sugar. For dessert we shared the spicy ginger cake with a bit of whipped cream on the side and a treacle pudding immersed in custard.
Around 8 p.m., Anna and I walked over to Books of Wonder and stood in line for an hour and a half. Frans joined us and we passed the time talking with the 7th grade teacher behind us about YA books and what we liked/disliked about different series. Harry Potter is everyone’s all-time favourite and, if you’re familiar with the YA world, you wouldn’t have to think too hard to figure out which series was the least appreciated. We discussed the overuse of love triangles in books and of course, discussed the series of the night, the Hunger Games.
When we finally made it inside, we had to wait in another line to receive the welcome package that included a raffle ticket (#214), a number for collecting the book at midnight (#262) and a certificate showing that I did receive the book and it was stamped by Suzanne Collins (#321). There were jugglers, a tarot card reader, a spinning board(?) trivia game and a make up artist who was painting mockingjays and other such things on people’s body parts. We took part in the eating of cupcakes in the attached bakery. Frans had to leave, but Anna and I stayed and talked about books!
They gave out raffle prizes throughout the entire night. In the first batch the called #213, in the last batch they called #218! The probability of my number being called was pretty low, then about a minute later, they called #214 and I whooped! I got a Mockingjay bag clip, it’s just a little dangler that you put on your bag.
At 11:30 p.m. David Levithan, editorial director at Scholastic and one of the authors of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, introduced Suzanne Collins. Suzanne read a few lines from Katniss’s interview in Catching Fire, and then she read the first chapter of Mockingjay. By then it was midnight and they set up tables and called everyone up by number to receive the book and then get it stamped by Suzanne. She didn’t do a signing because she had hurt her hand. Anna took a picture while I was at the table, but I’m a bit unsure of the posting policy, there were people taking photos, but there was one point where they said something about not taking photos/videos; I’m not sure if that only meant during the reading, but I figure I’ll just post a picture and if I need to take it down I will.