Post-Event: Book Dash Celebrates 2nd Birthday

Book Dash Birthday

“Isn’t it nice to be with people who understand this kind of geeky talk!”

I was honoured to be invited to the second birthday of Book Dash. It was held at the Kalk Bay book store, which is a beautiful quaint shop by the ocean, filled with that wonderful smell of books, nostalgia and salty air. My first encounter as I walked in, was a table filled with past Book Dash printed books. These gorgeous little square books were full of colour and magical stories about children, animals and their adventures.

"Bathtub Safari" one of Book Dash's books that I picked up.
“Bathtub Safari” one of Book Dash’s books that I picked up.

Soon, I heard the familiar sound of my own name from Julia Norrish, the organiser, who exclaimed that she didn’t realise I was so tall from my photo. But soon we were ushered to the comfortable couches where Athur Attwell, the founder, started his speech. After all the acknowledgements of authors, copywriters, supporters and supporters in the room, he informed us that while we were all there sipping our juice, wine and champagne, 15 stories where currently being printed in 11 different languages, to create 48 000 books.

And that was just the beginning! They are hoping to distribute into other parts of Africa, as well as into the digital realm, by partnering up with an eBook distributor.

He also announced that in the beginning they only had two stories.  The first one was printed within a month and the second one was only finished a few weeks ago. Julia then announced that ‘Celeste is here!’ Apparently the story I took over from my illustrator friend (I won’t mention his name) in February had been sitting on the his table for two years! I quickly corrected everyone and said that it wasn’t my fault – I had only gotten it this year. I had no idea that Penguin Palace by Helen Brain had such a great back story.

Arthur started telling us all about the feedback they had gotten from the schools and I felt really humbled by the stories from children and teachers who were so grateful for the books. Made me feel really proud that I had contributed (in a small way) to this magical literary fairy tale.

The table of previous books
The table of previous books

After the speeches, I was treated to a wonderful experience, as the lady who sat next to me exclaimed rather loudly “Oh LOOK at this amazing uppercase in the first paragraph!” I turned to see her pawing a beautiful book in her hands (the title was unfortunately obscured from my vision). She then went on to explain the story behind the blue on its cover as a ‘Food Barn Blue.’ She turned to me and said with a big smile and wink “Isn’t it nice to be with people who understand this kind of geeky talk!”

It’s at moments like these, where people appreciate typesetting and the colour of covers that you know you are among like-minded book-loving friends.

I wish the Book Dash team bucket loads of luck in all their ventures and look forward to the next event in Cape Town. I hope all of you, who are reading this, will come and join in as well, either with your pencils and characters like me, or with your pens and stories as an author, or typesetting, volunteering, etc -there are lots of ways to get involved.

See you at the next Birthday, for more laughs and cupcakes.

Find out more about Book Dash



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