No unfortunate events occurred on the evening of October 15 when Lemony Snicket (aka author Daniel Handler), arrived at the BookMark Shoppe in Bay Ridge to greet and read to his adoring fans. And quite the crowd gathered with copies of their favorite Snicket books in tow.
The festivities began with a charming kids-only reading session in the store. Parents had to wait outside on a rather long line. The children seemed thrilled to have their hero all to themselves. Handler – who is well-known in children’s book circles as the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events — was on his A game as he read excerpts of his new book with the help of a projector and his natural enthusiasm. But this wasn’t just a typical book reading.
Snicket allowed children to participate in the adventure by having them read aloud, using them as props, and acting out some of the scenes himself.
Dedicated fan Hannah Smith – who has already read 12 of his works — has already developed her passion for reading at the age of nine, thanks to Snicket’s series of books. Waiting on a line that reached around the block from the store, she held two brand new Snicket books.
And what is it about his stories that have attracted such a love for Smith? “I think it’s because the books are mysteries and they are cliffhangers. Those are my favorites,” she replied.
The best part of the night was watching kids falling in love with reading right in front of the eyes of their proud parents. And to have these young readers be able read with their idol was very touching. Instead of clamoring to buy the latest video game, they were carrying stacks of books. The author himself was impressed.
“It’s very moving to me. I think you never love a book the way you love a book when you’re 10. I think to be a part of that is an honor,” said Handler, aka Snicket.
His popular A Series of Unfortunate Events embraces ideas of kids going through dark, oddly funny and terrifying times.
“I think that thinking about terrible things happening to children just comes naturally to me,” said the author. And that inspiration doesn’t seem like it will find an end anytime soon. His next book promises to put kids through more turbulent times.
“It is the second volume in this new series called All The Wrong Questions,” Snicket explained. “It’s about a girl who goes missing and has a formula that just might save the town.”
Co-owner of the BookMark Shoppe, Christine Freglette, was thrilled with the turnout and was smiling just as much as the children that sat in her store. “This is awesome. This was his first stop on his book-signing tour. He has fans that range from five all the way to late twenties, said Freglette.
Although the Bookmark Shoppe always schedules stellar talent to read and sign at the store, this night stood out. “He rarely makes appearances in public, which added to the significance of this event. For him to be able to come to us in Bay Ridge is amazing,” Freglette added.
Snicket acknowledged our very own paper’s move to an improved office space. “I saw your sign and I was very impressed by that building. And it’s nice to see newspapers moving into bigger offices. I feel like that doesn’t happen a lot,” he said.
To find out about future events, visit the store’s website at www.bookmarkshoppe.com.