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A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I spent a free day in New York. The morning after my bookish sightseeing, I woke up bright and early with the incentive of bagels for breakfast. Just outside our building, Times Square was bright but completely deserted at 6 in the morning.

Josh led me to the nearby subway station and we embarked on our journey back to our beloved H&H Bagels. It was still quite a hike once we got off the train, but we enjoyed watching as the city slowly became illuminated.

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A little after 7, Josh and I sat down to enjoy our breakfast.

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With enough time to spare before check-in at Book Riot Live started, Josh and I walked around a little more and admired all of the city details.

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Finally, we arrived at the building where Book Riot Live was taking place, and we joined the line to check in. The events started, and Josh and I enjoyed attending panels where we got to listen to authors talk about different aspects of writing.

Between panel discussions, we browsed the stalls of literary merchandise and then hung out in the reading lounge, which was absolutely essential for me–I don’t deal well with prolonged exposure to crowds, but chilling out with a book for a little while is an easy way to recharge.

At one point in the early afternoon, I walked into the bathroom to see Margaret Atwood washing her hands at the sink. Not knowing what to do when faced with the prospect of talking to this literary celebrity, I rushed into a stall and made a facebook status about how I was freaking out because Margaret Atwood and I were using the same bathroom. A little later, I watched her speak on one of the panels (link to an article about some of her talking points), and I held it together now that I was seeing her at more of a distance.

Finally, Josh and I sat down for the last event of the day: a reading of the Shakespeare’s Star Wars books. For those of you not familiar with these, somebody created a script that took equal parts Star Wars movies and Shakespeare plays and created an amazing cultural mash-up that was made for nerds exactly like me. What we didn’t know at first was that the people reading this abridged script were the actual voice actors of the audiobooks–we were stunned that the people onstage with their cheesy props sounded exactly like Han, Yoda, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2.

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With huge smiles on our faces, we emerged from the convention into the streets of Hell’s Kitchen that evening, feeling so satisfied about our time in New York that only 2 things were needed to complete our visit: vegan pizza and THE bookstore.

With a little time before our dinner reservation, we went to The Strand, which is an independent bookshop but is absolutely enormous and boasts several miles of bookshelves.

At the nearby Pala Pizza, Josh and I gorged ourselves on a pizza covered in vegan cheese, broccoli, braised fennel, and shaved potatoes.

Then we were headed back to The Strand for one more sojourn in the endless stacks of books. This time, we picked up some souvenirs and gifts to take home.

And with that, we were ready to head back to our room and get one more night of sleep in the big city before heading home in the morning.

Love, Elizabeth