Today I attended the National Council of Teachers of English Convention for the first time. I was pretty excited to have a chance to attend some workshops on a wide array of topics, although I'll admit the enormous size and scope of the conference was pretty intimidating.
The morning at the conference was going well, and as I was reading the program, I noticed ads for several publishing booths indicated there were free books available. I decided to head over to the big exhibit hall when it opened, hoping to grab a book or two.
What I found astounded me: rows after rows of publishers giving away FREE BOOKS! I was in heaven. I'm a big stickler for borrowing from the library and friends, so I never purchase novels. As I result, my own book shelves are pretty skimpy (especially for an English teacher), so I'm always thrilled when I can add something to my collection.
Primary lesson I learned: there is no madness like scores of English teachers diving for literature. It was crazy, and awesome, all at the same time. I first assumed the books were likely to be random novels no one has heard of, but I was surprised by the quality. In the end, I left with fifteen books including:
- The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (yes!)
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
- The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Ray
I got a stuffed owl from Cliff Notes too! Many of the other books are YA, especially with dystopian themes (guess I'm never going to escape it!). Some look interesting, some less so, but I'll lend them out to my students and ask them to give me a review.
I'm heading back to the convention center tomorrow for the second full day of the convention. I think my freebie shopping is over, but I'm looking forward to a number of workshops.