So you might have heard recently from the rare, mysterious and almost secret organisation type underground of Philip Pullman fans, that he has published and released a NEW BOOK; The Book of Dust Vol. 1 ‘La Belle Sauvage’.
With the release of this new book came a series of midnight launch events hosted by Waterstones. Waterstones are known for hosting great literary themed events, whether it be Potter quiz events, book signings or book clubs, they’re always keen to get involved and I think that’s great.
For this particular event, all you had to do is turn up at 11pm and myself and Emma, who I went with had already pre-ordered months ago.
As any mysterious social events dictates for the select few of us lucky enough to have anxiety, we were feeling pretty nervous about the unknown night of His Dark Materials themed events so we visited Revs nextdoor. Certainly not for the music or setting but definitely for the Pornstar Martini’s. We downed a drink pretty quickly and headed over. The turnout was surprisingly high in the numbers, I say this because HDM and Pullman fans seem to be about as common as Dostoevsky fans. And everyone was dotted about taking part in some form of activity or another that the bookseller’s had organised for us.
We immediately dug into the HDM themed treasure hunt, much to Emma’s enjoyment, which involved us looking for an Alethiometer, Subtle Knife and Amber Spyglass in picture form, hidden around the store. Well, to cut a long (not too long) story short… WE WON. Which also meant we won a little goody bag. Oh yes.
Next we took on the higher difficulty quiz…Granted I hadn’t read HDM for a few years so some details were a little hazy. But it was super cool because part of the quiz involved a bonus round that after getting a clue from a bookseller resulted in me and Emma rummaging around in the crafts and sewing section for Will Parry’s father’s green leather case that had letters in it to help us answer the bonus round questions.
After doing as much as we could on the ‘Savagely’ difficult quiz, we tackled the ‘what is your daemon’ quiz, which on the surface was supposed to be easier but as usual, we took the personality quiz way too seriously and I believe ‘do I even know myself?’ was uttered.
Turns out Emma has a black bear daemon and I have a lynx!
After playing around in some masks for a little while we very rushedly completed the slightly easier quiz and Emma tried to find as many words in the crossword as possible, even if they weren’t on the list.
By the time we handed in our quizzes, it was 1 minute to midnight and the booksellers announced for us to get into queues and collect our pre-ordered books! There was an opportunity to buy a £35 limited, cased, signed edition, but I enforced some self control and managed to resist.
We got a stamp at the front of our book to say we collected our copies at the midnight launch and found out that we ALSO won the quiz. We smashed it and had such a good night nerding out and being silly. Waterstones really are the best.
My book and our little prizes from winning the treasure hunt.