Friday Night – the Welcome Meetup

We packed our bags of books and the huge box of goody bags into lyttletonwitch’s car, and headed off to the Dux de Lux. When we got there, we discovered that they’d given us one long table instead of the several smaller tables we’d asked for (long tables make it very difficult to talk to anyone but your immediate neighbours), but that problem was overcome easily enough – when we ordered the pizzas for dinner, we made sure that different parts of the table got different toppings, so people had to get up and move about to find their favourites. And people got moving around quickly enough anyway – if the pizzas weren’t enough reason to move, the temptation of piles of books down the table definitely was!

As the 6 pm kick-off time approached, bookcrossers started to arrive thick and fast, and we were kept very busy ticking off names and handing out goody bags (which were received with much admiration). Books were piled on the tables, and Libragirl arrived with a huge box and bag of books – she couldn’t come to the convention, because she was off on holiday, but she’d stopped in long enough to drop off all the books from Trattorie, so we could have a mobile OCZ for the weekend.
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The attendance list:

When we placed our order (for 5 large pizzas, 5 plates of buffalo chips, and 2 large salads), the staff member taking our order was worried it would be far too much food even for 23 people, but it was amazing how fast it disappeared – tribute to the quality of the food at the Dux, I think.
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As the night wore on, the piles of books on the tables diminished, and the number of empty glasses increased.
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Cathytay, who’d contributed more than her share of the empty glasses, wandered around the other tables with a pile of books, telling the other diners about Bookcrossing, and offering them books. Quite a few of them took books (and a few (including one of the waiters) even came over to search the piles on the table and the mobile OCZ for one they wanted), so I don’t think she scared too many of them off 😉

It was getting pretty warm in the Dux by this time, so rarsberry and I grabbed a few books off the table and went for a walk round the Arts Centre, releasing books in quiet corners to hopefully be found by curious tourists the next day:

It was only 11 pm when we got back, but the number of people round the table had decreased markedly, and those remaining were starting to flag.
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The restaurant staff were starting to pointedly clean everything in sight, so we decided it was time to call it a night, and headed home (only to spend the next 2 hours talking and making release notes, so that it was after 1 am again when we got to bed).

Books released to convention table (some of which were caught by other bookcrossers, the rest ended up in the OCZ at the end of the night):

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