It came to me as a sad sad news that the most beautiful Waterstones I’ve ever been to has closed down. It may be my favourite Waterstones, with all its grandeur found in the high ceilings, grand staircase and mezzanine – which provided a great view of the store and the shelves below. (Although, Waterstones Piccadilly is a close competition being the biggest bookstore in Europe and all)
I’ve heard the news about it closing down but it was still heart-breaking to see the blacked-out windows and scaffoldings around the building during my recent visit to Birmingham. No more are those hours of browsing in this 20 000 sq ft of book heaven.
A horde of eager fans flocked to Waterstones Piccadilly and waited in line from dawn to twilight for a chance to meet bestselling author Stephenie Meyer. Out of the hundreds of people who willingly sat in one of London’s busiest pavement, 23 year-old Sinead Tobin Belmont claimed the place at the top end of the line.
Faithful fan, Sinead, arrived outside Europe’s biggest bookstore way before it was even open, sat at the foot of the door and patiently waited for the event to start. She said: “I arrived at 5:30 am and was waiting for twelve and a half hours before the event started at 6pm.” Now, that’s what I call dedication! Thankfully, for her, the day turned out to be England’s rare, dry and even sunny kind of day.
The bestselling author of the Twilight novels attracted hundreds of fans to London for her book signing at Waterstones Piccadilly, this week. Fans started queuing for as early as 5 am outside Europe’s biggest bookstore for the 6 pm event.
This is the Stephenie Meyer’s first event in the UK after her last visit in 2007. Hence, it is not surprising that the throng of excited fans took this chance to meet their idol. Sinead Tobin Belmont, a 23 year-old Dubliner who now lives in London, came with her husband and was the first person on the line. She said that she was also first in the queue to buy some of Meyer’s book when they were released and added: “I wanted to carry on my own little tradition of being first and knowing that despite what anyone may say about themselves, I am the biggest fan.”
On March 5th, the waiting crowd of teenagers to 50 year-olds created a friendly and a tad crazy atmosphere. Some were sharing stories and saying hello to passers-by to pass the time. A particular fan came with a sign saying ‘Honk if you’re happy’ and held it up to the passing cars while others screamed and cheered at the sound of the car horns.
Meyer arrived on time and was welcomed with delight from cheering fans. The author was described to be graceful, nice and friendly during the event. She chatted, posed for photographs and signed copies of her novels for around 200 aficionados.
The signing was part of the publicity tour for the movie adaptation of The Host, another of the author’s bestsellers. The science fiction and romance novel penned by Meyer in 2008 sold millions of copies worldwide and will soon be released on the big screen in March 29, 2013.