Peek inside my swag bag from the Book Blogger Convention

From the moment I arrived at the Book Blogger Convention and saw those canvas totes lined up down the hallway, my fingers started itching with that old, familiar tingle.

Free books.

I didn’t know there would be free books, friends. I’d gotten an email from an author days earlier implying I’d be receiving a copy of her book at the event, but I wasn’t completely sure what she was talking about. Just in case there weren’t free books, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

The funny about about readers — and book bloggers — is that we all probably have one quarter of a million books waiting for us to be read. Thinking now about my overflowing bookcase, I cringe when imagining having to toss even one more book on the shelves without reading one and removing it.

But the allure of free books — worlds yet undiscovered — is too strong. And since many of you asked me what was in those mysterious canvas totes, I’m here to tell you. With a handy diagram.

Inside Meg’s swag bag:

1. Well, the swag bag itself. Which is awesome, sturdy and has been used since my return to cart other books to work and beyond.

2. A super awesome Spike Light, courtesy of Authors On The Web. And, um? Mine is PINK. Love.

3. Books! Titles in my bag were Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (audio); The Great Lover by Jill Dawson; The Nature Of Jade by Deb Caletti; Secret Lives Of Husbands and Wives by Josie Brown; The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins; Think Of A Number by John Verdon; and the Perfect 10 Diet. Also included? A yearly journal (I’m going to write my monthly reading on each page) and a reading guide with synopsises and discussion questions for many current books.

4. A Spyology pen, which writes in invisible ink.

5. A “Fail” stamp, which has already proven to be way more hilarious than I think the creators intentioned. I think my sister has stolen it, and if she hasn’t — Spencer definitely has. Also? Lots of bookmarks and other promotional materials; a handheld mirror advertising a new wedding novel; buttons and tiny book-related postcards.

6. A T-shirt for Sandra Brannan’s In The Belly Of Jonah, some cute notecards with a reading theme, and a mousepad for The Monkey Bible.

So there you have it, friends. After the convention was over, you’d see many of us folding under the weight of our swag as we made our way through the streets of New York, and I had a heck of a time getting this thing comfortably on the train the next day! But does that mean I’m unappreciative? Absolutely not. It was worth the shoulder ache — and I’m grateful for the goodies.

And I’ve shared many of my spoils with friends and coworkers, plus my sister has confiscated The Great Lover and is quickly making her way through that one. Look for reviews soon.

Tuesday Thingers: Stuff we (should) all get?

Today’s question from the Boston Bibliophile:

LT Things — t-shirts, bags, cue cats — are you into the “stuff”? Do you use a cuecat to enter your books, or do you enter them manually? What do you think of the stuff?

I admit it — I’m a “stuff” person. Judging by my other “pack rat” posts, I’m sure that’s not hard to decide! When the NaNoWriMo shirts were first unveiled, I could barely type my little fingers fast enough to order one (size L — they always shrink, don’t they?!).

I don’t have any LibraryThing stuff, though. I don’t even know what a cuecat is. I’m assuming it’s a scanner like the one we’d use at work to “scan out” massive quantities of books, sending them on their sad trip back to the warehouse. That sounds pretty fun and useful if you have a huge collection of books to enter! I usually put mine in one or two at a time, manually typing in the ISBNs from the back of the book if it’s handy. Though I don’t have a T-shirt or totebag yet, I won’t say I’ll never venture into that SWAG sort of realm! I still have a T-shirt my dad got me when first launched years ago.