On Sunday, October 3, a beautiful and sunny early fall day, members of the JASNA NY Metro Region were at table #327 at The Brooklyn Book Festival. The festival is a wonderful opportunity to engage with publishers both large and small and to browse their wares. Few book lovers could fail to find something of interest among the many tents.
There were plenty of interesting things to see at the JASNA table, thanks to the gracious donations by Metro Region members. Books by and about Jane, Austen ephemera including mugs, stationery, and T-shirts all shared space on our table. While a basket of “Doodads for a Dollar” was especially popular, many a customer walked away with new additions to their library. Mysteries, romances, and works extending or reimagining the novels all found satisfied new owners.
The benefits of JASNA, and of our NY Metro Region, in particular, were also shared with all who would listen. Emphasis was put on the joy of companionship with other lovers of Jane, and on the many activities that the organization offers. The variety of conversations was a thrill to those of us behind the table as we engaged with fellow Janeites and perhaps a few new members. A few people stopping by the table had finished reading “Pride and Prejudice” or “Sense and Sensibility” only days earlier and were pleased to find an outlet for their impressions.
A frequent point of discussion was when JASNA would resume in-person meetings. Everyone who asked was assured that we will return to enjoying each other’s company in person as soon as we can safely do so. But in the meantime, virtual events continue. This was good news for all, including for one woman who was formerly affiliated with the Louisville region. She now lives in NYC and is eager to participate in Metro Region activities.
The steady flow of people was a constant reminder of her continued popularity and importance. Many people were excited to see a table devoted entirely to her work. It was a lovely day at a wonderful festival and it was a pleasure to share our love of Jane Austen with the community.