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Tag Archives: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Last week I wrote that I had made a trip to Denver to purchase a copy of Neil Gaiman’s new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. On Tuesday, I returned to Denver with my new book (which I had just finished) and my copy of The Annotated Sandman Volume One tucked safely away in my messenger bag. Along with two of our other friends, V and I trekked down the 16th Street Mall to the Lodo Tattered Cover and joined the queue.

While we arrived too late to be seated in the room where Neil was speaking, we were able to find space on the carpet of the second floor, where the audio was being broadcast over the sound system. We got to listen to him read an excerpt from his new book (he also reads the audio version, and given the autobiographical tones, no one else could have) and answer a handful of questions from the audience. After describing his life as “realism splashed with the supernatural,” it was time for the signature line to form.

First up, the new book.

First up, the new book.

The remarkable Neil Gaiman in mid-signature.

The remarkable Neil Gaiman in mid-signature.

And finally, a close-up of the personalized signature.

And finally, a close-up of the personalized signature.

There is no way to accurately state how awesome this entire experience was. Mr. Gaiman was polite, professional, and incredibly enthusiastic to see all of us, despite the exhausting touring schedule. I, for one, cannot express my gratitude.

I woke up at five AM on Tuesday. This is something I would not normally do, as many of you know. As a general rule, the only time I see five AM is when I have stayed up all night. This was a happy exception, however. You see, Tuesday was Book Day.

Way back when I worked for Borders, I learned that new releases came out on Tuesdays. For whatever reason, your favorite author’s new book, that awesome band’s new CD, and that DVD you’ve been waiting for since you saw the film on opening night at the theatre all come out on Tuesdays. I would show up to my Tuesday morning shift to help with the unboxing and shelving of all of the latest titles that people had been asking for the for month prior. Despite the early hour, it was one of my most enjoyable shifts at that job. There was something wonderful about opening a box full of new books, knowing that in a few hours they would be in the hands of elated readers. Ever since then, there’s been a bit of a thrill surrounding Tuesdays for me, even though I’m not as connected to the retail world as I once was. Like I said, this was a special occasion. This Tuesday was the street date for Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 

I’m not entirely certain about how I first encountered Neil’s writing for the first time. At some point within the last seven years, though, I was introduced to the Sandman comics. I devoured them. Neil’s scripts and the absolutely gorgeous artwork drew me in, and within a month I’d read the entirety of his Sandman run. I wanted more, and I found it. Works like Coraline, American Gods, The Graveyard Book, and Neverwhere would be completed in days, if not hours after I started reading them. I told all of my friends that they needed to read his work. Any of it. All of it. To this day, I have not been disappointed by Neil Gaiman’s writing, whether it comes in graphic novels, children’s books, brilliant pieces of literature, or Doctor Who episodes. 

All of which brings me back to why I was awake at five AM on Tuesday. New Book Tuesday. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. There are lots of bookstores in Colorado Springs, but I didn’t want to buy my copy here in town, even though under any other circumstances I will shop locally first. I decided almost two months ago that I was going to be driving to Denver on June 18th so that I could buy a copy of Neil’s latest book from the Tattered Cover. This is because his upcoming book signing is going to be held at the Tattered Cover’s LoDo location, and purchase of the book from any one of their locations included a numbered ticket for the autograph line on the 25th. I’m number 53. I’d say that certainly merits being awake at five on my day off. There’s nothing quite like meeting other people who are willing to get up at a ridiculous hour in order to wait in line for a book. Many thanks to V for going on an adventure with me.