I am not the sort of person who would normally make a trip of over three hours, requiring multiple forms of transportation, to go to a reading. Such an undertaking seems vaguely stalkerish, and well, I have writing of my own to be doing. And I get violently motion sick. One cannot write while one is casting up one's accounts.
However, yesterday I went into Brooklyn for part of Lev Grossman's tour in support of the paperback release of The Magicians. Partly, this was because I love this book. Love, love, love. I'll be teaching it in my course on "The Fantastic as Place" this fall. But also because Lev is a friend. We met (writerly cliché of all writerly clichés) when I sat next to him at a bar serving absinthe at last year's WorldCon. Aside from being a talented writer, he's a delightful guy. And when your friend is on book tour, and you can get to the reading, you go.
The trip in was something out of a farce. For those of you keeping track at home, I have lived on Long Island for eight days and 16 hours as of this writing. I am still not sure where things are near me. And the GPS lied about where the LIRR station was ("recalculating.. recalculating"), so I literally had to run to catch my train. And a rail broke on a track into Penn Station, so we were held. I was almost late, and really stressed, when I got off the train, so I thought, I will take a taxi, rather than the subway. And I got the only cabbie in NYC who could not find Brooklyn. So I called up a map on my iPhone, and read him the directions as he drove like the proverbial Hell-fleeing bat.
I think I was only thirty minutes late.
But the reading was great. (New material! The tour is still going on. Minneapolis area people, Lev will be at the Roseville Barnes and Noble. Go!) There was wine. The space was lovely. I met the utterly delightful Laura Miller, whose book The Magician's Book I also love, and I will also be teaching this fall. There were drinks after, and catching up, and I was very kindly put on the correct subway line to get safely home.