Mari At Work · thinking out loud

Addicted to YA Panel + Google Hangout with Lauren James

Honestly, I was worried about the attendance for these two events, because (1) both were confirmed and advertised late compared to the others, and (2) it was Open House weekend – more so than the previous week – in which most locals would be attending “open houses” at friends’ and relatives as an extended Eid celebration, which meant they couldn’t commit to other events. Continue reading “Addicted to YA Panel + Google Hangout with Lauren James”

Mari At Work · thinking out loud

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Party

Sometimes I wonder if I’d enjoy one of these events if I got to participate in them, instead of just organising them all the time! I do like seeing everyone having fun, especially at our HP events. This time, we had a little more time to work with than usual, so we could include two card games – Cards Against Wizardry (a CAH-like game I made up) and Wizards’ Duel (a MTG-like game my colleague Imran made up) along with the Hogwarts Hunt.  Continue reading “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Party”

Mari At Work · thinking out loud

What I’ll be doing this July

Earlier this year I was feeling a little envious of all the people on my feeds. It doesn’t matter where – Facebook, Instagram (I’m not much of a Twitter or Tumblr user these days) – I’d see posts from various book fests. They’re mostly from the US or UK, although some were from Australia and other parts of the world. We don’t really have a true equivalent here, although we do have indie book fests (mainly Malay/English pulp fiction) and the one official book fest (which is nice, but nothing like the ones overseas). So I decided to come up with my own fest of sorts. Continue reading “What I’ll be doing this July”

Mari At Work · thinking out loud

Gems of the Month, January to June

Since I skipped the mother’s day Top Ten Tuesday, I think it’s only right that I also skip father’s day. I was originally planning to do a top ten worst mothers/fathers in Diana Wynne Jones’ books for both, but I never got around to it (and I think someone else had done it!) Instead, since it’s June and we’re almost halfway through the year, I’m sharing my Gems of the year so far.

While we don’t have a “staff recommends” thing going on at the store, we have a monthly promotion called Gems of the Month, in which all the store’s buyers pick titles they recommend or find interesting. We used to have a store newsletter that includes our capsule reviews of these books, but recently we’ve stopped doing that. Instead, we scribble our thoughts on cards that get displayed on the Gems table with the books. So in the end it’s not much different from a “staff recommends” section! Continue reading “Gems of the Month, January to June”

Mari At Work · thinking out loud

Harry Potter Book Night 2017

This is the third year we hosted Harry Potter Book Night, and every year it’s the same – for at least a month or two before February, it’s hard to think of anything else. Only a small percentage of that is due to excitement/anticipation – the rest was just lots and lots and lots of planning and work.

Since our events usually have a mix of children and adult participants, it isn’t as fun to just use the activity packs we get – some of the activities would be boring for the adults, while others might be too difficult for the younger kids. So we would improvise, or create our own games. And we would be making props, doing research, writing e-mails (which is the work-related thing I like to do least, and unfortunately the most important bit of any event planning) all while trying to do my regular work.

Every year, as we get nearer to the event, I would think “I can’t wait to get this over with.” Every year, the moment we wrap up, and I’m cleaning up, I would think, “I have so many ideas for the next one.” And it starts again…

This year we managed to wrap things up on time, by making one of our staple games more elaborate with side quests, and adding only one extra game after. We also hosted a small gaming session a couple of hours before the event, playing the Wizarding Duel card game that one of our staff created for last year’s HPBN, and a kid-friendly, wizarding-world-only version of Cards Against Humanity (with the addition of “power cards” which caused much drama and back-stabbing!)

The card games were so fun, I may include them in the main event next year. Continue reading “Harry Potter Book Night 2017”