London Book Haul!

I visited London this August, and made a pretty impressive book haul. My best friend, Natalie, is a terrible influence, and I ended up with quite a few new stories to enjoy.

Waterstones Piccadilly is the biggest bookshop not just in London; or the UK; but Europe. In total we must have spent about 10 hours in bookshops over just three days! Waterstones Piccadilly has five floors of tomes, with some amazing editions you can purchase. My mum and I once walked in to discover that John Le Carré had just visited and signed some novels. It’s reputation precedes it.

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My Top Ten Tips for YALC Newbies!

Next week brings one of the biggest events in the bookish calendar – YALC, or the Young Adult Literature Convention. It’s a 3-day event at Olympia in London, where LFCC – the London Film and Comic Convention – is also taking place in the same weekend.

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It begins on Friday 27th July, and lasts until Sunday 29th July, and as it starts at 10am and finishes at 6pm, that’s 8 hours a day of bookish goodness! That’s a lot of books in one day, and if you’re going, for one day, two, or three, it’s worth it to try and make the most of the day. I went for all three days last year, so although I’ve only been once, I’ve still collected a few tips to share with you all if this is your first time, or you’re just plain curious.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes! Always, always wear comfortable shoes. A lot of the day will be spent on your feet/walking from place to place, so although your heels may look pretty, you’ll be wanting to throw them across the hall by the end of the day.
  2. Take a spare bag (preferably a tote). You’ll be getting a lot of books so you need somewhere to put them and a tote is one of the easiest bags to take.
  3. Layer up – but not too many! Wear layers so you can strip them off / put them on if you get too hot or too cold. Just don’t take a big coat, remember that it’s the middle of summer in London, so it’s always going to be hot. A jacket might be useful though.
  4. Plan your day in advance. Honestly, everyone says this… but do it. Print out the first day schedule from the website, and grab a programme.
  5. Take food in when you start. You’ll be able to enter and come back in, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do that. Grab some lunch when before you even start.
  6. STAY. HYDRATED. Dehydration is the worst and will ruin your day. Bring a water bottle, or be prepared to buy them!
  7. Be selective. It’s easy to make grabby hands and take every book that you think you might want to read, but your bag will get very heavy very fast, and keep in mind that if you pick up a book you might want, someone else might not have had a chance to get a book they really want.
  8. With that said – be mindful. Be mindful of stepping backwards into people, be mindful of people in queues, be mindful of what you say.
  9. Turn on @yalc_uk Twitter notifications. And bkmrk notifications. And basically every single publisher who is there. Some Tweet about giveaways and exciting things, so it’s well worth checking Twitter all the time. (Oh, and bring a phone charger too). I’m counting 9 as all things phone!
  10. Make sure to check out LFCC! That’s the London Film and Comin Con, it’s downstairs so it’s really easy to get to and it’s so worth checking out if you love all things geek. I’m planning on spending a bit of time at LFCC because I love so many different TV shows and films!

So there you go, here’s 10 tips I picked up from last year that I wanted to pass on to anyone. If you’re going for the first time, feel free to follow me on Twitter where I’ll be Tweeting throughout the weekend!

And if you go, make sure to have fun!

~ Hannah @ Sprinkled With Words 🙂

YALC 2017!

Hello dear readers. So for the past weekend (from July 28th – July 30th 2017) I have been in good old London, at the Kensington Olympia show grounds, to be exact, for the Young Adult Literature Convention, or YALC for short. (And if you were wondering, YALC is not pronounced Y-A-L-C but YAL-C, with a hard-C sound.)

What an incredible weekend it was! I went with my wonderful friend Natalie, and we had a weekend full of books and other nerdiness.

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YALC is such an exceptional event. Disappearing into LFCC, which was downstairs, simply showed how special YALC was. LFCC was overwhelming, busy and pushy, and although when the Tweets came out about ARC releases, this was definitely the case, YALC was so much quieter and more relaxed, and definitely friendlier. I really felt like I’d found a place I want to keep returning to, year after year!

Natalie and I were at YALC for all three days of the event. For the first night, we stayed in a tiny little AirBNB, which was actually super well-stocked and really great. And for the second night, we stayed in the swanky K West Hotel and Spa, courtesy of MyKindaBook and Macmillan!

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MyKindaBook had run a Heartless cosplay competition, for the character of Catherine, the future Queen of Hearts. The above picture is what Natalie and I sent in, and it’s what was on the MyKindaBook stand! It was awesome. Thank you so so much to MyKindaBook and Macmillan! Sunday I attended an awesome baking class too, and the brownies that came out of it were delicious.

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L-R: Me, Ellie and Alia, the overall winner!

I met so many great authors, like Non Pratt, Laure Eve, Moira Fowley-Doyle and Patrick Ness, many of whom I became tongue-tied and talked far too much to (sorry about that). I also saw Benedict Cumberbatch!! (Seriously, if you’re in the UK bookish world and haven’t heard about that yet, get onto Twitter! It was epic. Poor Benedict.) AND I saw James and Oliver Phelps which has just made my year.

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We also saw Sanne @ booksandquills, who is one of our favourite booktubers!

Overall, YALC was SUCH an incredible event, and I really, really would love to go back next year. If you can, I really urge you to attend, because it’s an experience quite like no other!

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(I really like this selfie, okay?)

And thank you so much to Natalie for making my weekend a wonderful one! ❤

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I’m not going to post my haul because it’s a biggun’, but if you skip to 5:20 in the YouTube video below, I show them all pretty quickly!

Thank you guys so much for reading my blog post! Let me know if you went to YALC in the comments below, and if you didn’t, if it’s something you would like to attend! ❤ Until the next time,

Hannah x