I think I just had the perfect weekend.
Yes, I realize there is still a planet-wide pandemic going on.
Yes, most schools are still closed so I have to get up and homeschool my son each weekday morning and it’s ridiculously evident that I should have paid way more attention in math class when I was in elementary school.
Yes, I still can’t venture to my absolute favorite places of all time: the local library and any book store.
But this past weekend I was able to attend the first ever Wrestling Bookmarks Covid-Con that ran from May 1-3 virtually on Facebook and FITE TV.
For several glorious hours, I was able to watch live interviews with pro wrestling historians, authors and wrestlers from the comfort of my bedroom. Apologies to my son and husband as I really didn’t see much of you, but there aren’t many events catering to introverted book/pro wrestling nerds with terrible immune systems like myself, so I had to take full advantage and indulge in this experience.
A little back story, for those of you who don’t know this already: I love to read! As Julie Andrews once sang, it’s my favorite thing. I grew up in a really small town. How small was it? Well it was so small, it wasn’t actually a town. It was technically a hamlet. But I digress. So I loved to read, but all we had where I lived was the school library. And I got through the majority of those books rather quickly, so I would rely on Scholastic book orders and book fairs to satiate my literary needs. I like to joke that I enjoy making it rain at book fairs, but truth be told, I don’t even want to think about how much of my babysitting money went to that company. Scholastic really should name a wing of their headquarters after me. A plaque on the wall or a bench would also suffice.
Fast forward to adult Jamie, who still finds reading rad and fortunately for her family budget lives in a city with many public libraries. I would eagerly and proudly visit my local library at least once a week. My family even has a reusable fabric bag that we only use for going to the library. Yes we are a family nerds! And if a new pro wrestling book came out or I heard about an older tome that I hadn’t yet read, the library was always my first place to check.
And then COVID-19 happened. And libraries were one of the first casualties. Closed until further notice.
This is going to sound beyond nerdy and privileged, but seeing those aforementioned four words on my local library’s website caused me to choke up a little.
But I’ve been managing the best I can. Through the power of modern technology, I was able to read and review the new Andre the Giant bio albeit via ebook instead of my preference for an actual hard copy book. And I found a few pro wrestling books on my own bookshelf that have been waiting to be read.
So I was managing. And I hadn’t had to use any of my family’s budget to get my fix, yet.
But then authors/wrestling enthusiasts John Cosper and Kenny Casanova came up with the Wrestling Bookmarks Covid-Con.
It was like Christmas came early and I’m very Jewish!
Suddenly, my entire weekend centered on pro wrestling books.
My husband, knowing this event could very well eradicate our family budget, started to sweat and turn very pale. (Note: this is quite an impressive feat because my husband is a red head who is already the color of white printer paper.)
This virtual con allowed me to see some familiar Canadian faces like SLAM! Wrestling’s own Greg Oliver, Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hebert. (Note to readers: this writer is also Canadian, but is currently living in the U.S. and yes, I miss my home country.) I was able to put some faces to a few of the names I’ve had the opportunity to interview on the phone, but not meet in person. And I was able to discover and learn from so many of the guest speakers that I wasn’t familiar with before.
Tragically, and yes I’m serious and deliberate in choosing that word, so many of the speakers shared that their book sales have been affected by the cancellation of conventions and other public events in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Some of them even showed the boxes and boxes of books they had just waiting for readers like me!
I had the epiphany that even though I get to read/review so many pro wrestling books for SLAM! Wrestling, there are still so many more books that I want, no scratch that, that I NEED to read. My wish list definitely got longer as I kept watching and my husband’s face turned the color of sour cream.
Family budget be damned. It’s up to me and other pro wrestling book enthusiasts to band together and help all those lonely books find good homes.
I just hope my marriage survives after my husband sees our credit card bill.