Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ABA Winter Institute (Wi7) kicks off in New Orleans

Happily settling in for the start of Winter Institute here at the Astor Crown Plaza in New Orleans. Last night was the Opening Reception held at the Cabildo, the Louisiana State Museum. A gorgeous building and venue. I wish I spent some of my time checking out the exhibits. It was the site of the Louisiana Purchase ceremonies in 1803. The one thing I did check out was Napolean's Death Mask - which was made from a mold by his doctor some 40 hours after his death and cast in bronze. It has a storied history, including being found by a man who picked up off a junk cart as this piece of history was heading off to a dump in the late 1800's. It was very cool and had an eerie aura about it. I tried sending a photo from my Blackberry - I have been very challenged trying to post from my Blackberry, so hopefully it shows up for anyone to check out.

While the acoustics at the museum created a din, it was representative of a packed venue full of energy and enthusiasm. It was wonderful talking to booksellers from WI, CO, Miami, San Fran, NJ, IL and really all over. There was a pervasive optimism people shared from many who posted a strong 4th quarter and genuinely positive outlook for the year ahead.

Today's schedule includes a Opening Plenary with Ingram CEO Skip Pritchard and Ann Patchett (author and bookseller), lunch with James Patterson talking about encouraging young readers followed by an afternoon of full sessions. Closing with Bob Minzesheimer (USA Today) interviewing Douglas Brinkley on the recovery of New Orleans. A FULL day awaits!!!

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