Last Sunday, we hosted our first event as an establishing YA book club at the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. To say we were excited about meeting all the people we’ve talked to online and fangirled with over the months would be an understatement! Despite the countless individuals who found themselves getting lost as they tried to find us in the massive gardens, we were absolutely amazed with how much support (and food!) we received on this beautiful sunny day.
The picnic took off to an amazing start as more and more people kept arriving and conversations continued to grow. Not only did we speak about the books we were excited about and the events we couldn’t wait for — but we also spoke about our lives outside the bookish community. This relaxed setting allowed us really to get to know each other, which we thought was the perfect inaugural meet-up. We began the meet-up sitting in a circle where we introduced ourselves and where we blog about books, as well as our current reads, favourite genres, as well as our most-adored books, which provided the perfect platform to start new conversations.
We also played a game of pass the parcel, in tune to our one and only Alexander Hamilton (a.k.a. bae). The festivities of the day also included the much-anticipated book swap, in which books were all wrapped up and placed in the middle where each people who pick one and be given the chance to do a ‘sneaky steal’. Surprisingly everyone was happy with the books they got and hardly anyone was looking to swap out! We also loved tasting the delicious food everyone had baked, in particular, Casey’s gorgeous book-themed cupcakes (and Sarah’s dropped vegan cupcakes, as well as Alex’s Oreo-stuffed cookies!). Despite the heat, and some unexpected sunburns, everyone was so happy to be outside and soaking up the atmosphere amongst bookish friends.
Many people at the picnic felt as though this event really allowed them to get to know more about each other and the people who’d be attending future meetings, which we wouldn’t necessarily have the time to do that at bookish events that only last an hour and a half. Because of that, we’re planning on holding more picnics in the future!
Thanks to everyone who came along and supported The YA Room — the love we’ve received, as well as the enthusiasm to attend future events, truly means the world to us and we’re so excited to hold more meet-ups in the near future. Our next event will be on Sunday 29th January in the Melbourne CBD where we will be discussing our Book Of The Month — Ida — and we’ll be joined by the author, Alison Evans! We look forward to seeing familiar faces, as well as new ones.
Until next time!