I've blogged about the Happiness & Its Causes conference quite a bit this week. It has been a massive undertaking that has consumed a lot of my time and energy, and so I thought it might be interesting to give you an idea of what all the fuss was about. As bookshop manager of the Buddhist centre I attend, I'm also in charge of the bookshop at the two conferences we put on each year.
The calm before the storm:
What I came to think of as the world's longest book stall:
Books! Books! & More Books!
The 600+ attendees at the conference did all their shopping during the 30 minutes tea breaks and at lunch time:
I took these pics during a comparatively quiet patch:
At any given time I had an average of 12 volunteers working behind the bookstall, and people were queuing 3 or 4 deep to buy books when we were at our busiest. Some customers bought 6, 7, 8 books and one lady I saw bought 14 books!
Some of the attendees were from regional or rural areas, and generally don't have access to a good range of specialist Buddhist books, so made the best of the opportunity.
It was a really exhausting weekend, which aside from a few early teething problems and frayed nerves on the Saturday morning, went very well. The volunteers were all excellent and worked their butts off, the customers were kind and patient, and the end result exceded my expectations. The ABC tv show Compass covered the event and did plenty of filming in and behind the bookstall. If I hear when it will be on I'll let you know.
There were plenty of highpoints, two of the volunteers went off and bought me roses when they saw that stress and exhaustion was getting the better of me at one point, and many customers were so kind and generous with their praise, that even though it was a long and tiring exercise I finished the weekend on a real high.