The dealer’s room at this year’s WFC was one of the best I’ve seen in years. A VAST room, filled with books. The range of wares on offer from the pro and indy publishers, from the secondhand paperback sellers and the high-end collectibles dealers, was awesome. And for someone like me who for reasons of space is trying not to buy too many new books at the moment this can be ruinous. Which is why I publicly declared my shopping list before I went.
Focus was the key.
And I did okay, I think. Successfully picked up Lynda Rucker and Kim Lakin Smith’s books at their respective launches, and bought End Of The Road from Solaris. Harrison’s Getting Out Of There wasn’t in evidence (so I’ve ordered it) and Duncan’s Scruffians doesn’t come out til next year (although he has been showing off an ARC copy). And Eidolon I’ll snap up at its Glasgow launch this week.
So far so good, a modest selection of good books to take home, but by then of course it had already gone wrong. Even before I’d picked up my contributor copies of Astrologica and the exceptionally handsome Caledonia Dreamin’, I’d already amassed seven or eight free novels at registration. Disaster! So what did I do? I bought some more. Picking up the two other Alchemy Press titles being launched at the same time as Astrologica, the Legends anthology which I’d missed at the Gemmel awards and David Gullen’s first novel: Shopocalypse!
By my last morning I had a two foot stack of books to fit into my carry-on bag (another ploy), and there was no way that was happening so in the end I donated most of the free ones to the deserving (with the exception of Rob Shearman’s collected plays) and squeezed everything else in as best I could.
But it didn’t stop even there. Since I got home I’ve picked up copies of Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook (more on that soon), Ann Leckie’s much-hyped Ancillary Justice (on the basis of a very strong “it really is that good” recommendation over tea and scones on Monday) and G Willow Wilson’s WFA winning Alif The Unseen (but that at least is on Kindle).
I went with ambitions of restraint, and came back with a habit as bad as ever.
But, you know…books!
12 thoughts on “WFC: the shopping experience”
I ended up with so many books that I had to leave them with friends who were driving back while I caught the train. I hope to see them again (the books and the friends) at Christmas.
I wanted to buy so many more books than the seven I did purchase. But it was bringing them back that was the problem. I can see next year’s worldcon is going to be an interesting logistical exercise…
Ancillary Justice… well, I liked it, and you know what I’m like, so that should tell you how good it is…
Luckily since next year’s Worldcon is in August I won’t have to lug a winter coat and extra sweaters, so I’ll be able to build in spare suitcase space.
I’m surprised no one has caught up with the idea of selling download cards for e-books yet. CD Baby has been offering the download card service for gigging musicians for years. The musos buy multiple cards from CD Baby and sell them on at gtigs. Customers buy the card at a gig and download to their preferred device on returning home.
Not much use for used and collector’s books, but great for publishers selling their own books in multiple formats.
I think that’s a good idea too, Jacey. Seems sensible.
But is it science fiction, Ian?
It fits the definition for me.
Well that’s good enough, I guess.
I’ll confess to a complete lack of restraint! I bought so many that they’re in three, foot-high, piles on the living room table. It’s a pleasurable disaster.
IKEA will, of course, be delivering two sets of shelves on Friday next. This is a coincidence.
If only I had room for more shelves!
That’s why I’ve resorted to Kindle. Like Hermione I can carry 450 books around in my handbag – and frequently do.
I have a decent few on my phone but I still love the physical objects.
Me too. I love physical books, but my house is groaning under the weight of them all and some are even packed away in really-useful boxes, which means I can’t even get at them. What I do now is buy fiction in electronic format when possible and buy non-fiction in physical format. I don’t think ebooks are very good for something you either want to dip into, use for research, or read in a non-linear fashion (or for books with illustrations unless you have Kindle Fire – which I don’t). My kindle experience has taught me that content trumps format for anything I read in a linear fashion, but format is equally important for the non-linear stuff. Of course, a well-produced physical book is a joy in itself, separate to it’s content value, but sadly that’s a treat I often have to forego in order to cope with the practicalities of book storage.