The Best Bookish Birthday Ever

So yesterday was my birthday — I turned 28! It just so happened that it was the night of a Gayle Forman signing at my local indie, Children’s Book World, in Haverford, PA. Let me tell you, it was one of the best birthdays in the history of birthdays I’ve ever had.

I have to give love to my local indie, first…

Here’s the thing. I buy books everywhere and anywhere — I shop local, I do buy from Amazon when I need to, big book chains. I don’t discriminate. But here’s the thing…my local indie? They made this night happen. They are incredible and put on the best events and the staff is so awesome. Everything that happened that night? They were totally in on. There’s just something about a local indie bookstore that you just don’t get from buying elsewhere. There’s this “family” type feel — I go to events often there but I wouldn’t say they KNOW me but by sight. The type of book love that happens at local independent bookshops is unparalleled and what they did to help make my night special is something that I’ll never experience with Amazon or other big chain bookstores. And this isn’t saying anything bad about THEM but it’s more about how extraordinary local indies can be and how it is SO, SO important to support them. The experiences I’ve had at independent bookstores are just SO much different than all the other places I buy. I can’t deny it. I never, ever want to see my local indie close!

So my night…

I showed up to Children’s Book World and was immediately greeted by book club who showered me with the most thoughtful and lovely gifts. Seriously. Macarons, an amazingly sweet and thoughtful homemade card (THAT GAYLE FORMAN SIGNED!) and more! THEY KNOW ME SO WELL. The thoughtfulness of all the presents kind of makes me a little teary. Not going to lie.

IMG_2371 IMG_2372Look at Lindsey’s cardmaking skills!!

And did I mention I got a huge Happy Birthday hug from Gayle Forman when I walked in? No? OH WELL YEAH THAT HAPPENED. Nothing like a Happy Birthday from a favorite author on your birthday to make a bookish gal’s day! Then it was time for trivia night with Gayle Forman in which I realized how badly I need to reread If I Stay & Where She Went and makes me want to do a reread of Just One Day and then obviously reread Just One Year. (All those links go to reviews if you haven’t yet read any Gayle Forman books and need convincing!!). Luckily Katie and Lindsey took it home for book club and were answering questions left and right and Lindsey won one of Gayle Forman’s new shirts! Then Gayle read from both Just One Day & Just One Year and then this happened….

YEAH GAYLE FORMAN BROUGHT ME A CAKE FOR MY BIRTHDAY! So, in my favorite bookstore with one of my all time favorite authors…many book lovers sang happy birthday to me! I was shocked and a bit flustered because ALL EYES ON ME MAKES ME WANT TO SQUIRM but it was the loveliest of all surprises and I am so, so grateful for my bookish friends, my lovely local indie and Gayle Forman who, not only writes books that speak to my soul, but is one of the kindest and most lovely people everΒ  and SUPER interesting to talk to because she has great stories, is hilarious and I love her outlook on life.

Gayle Forman signing

Gayle FormanYep…just Gayle feeding me some cake!

It was truly a fab bookish birthday and I am so thankful for those who celebrated with me! And now tonight Will and I will celebrate with dinner because, being the husband of a bookworm, he knows that I’d totally choose to celebrate my birthday doing something bookish.

Check out Gayle’s tumblr and see if she is coming to a city near you! She is not to be missed!

If you could choose, what author would you love to come to YOUR birthday party? Tell me about a memorable birthday YOU have had!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’m so glad you had an excellent/amazing birthday. I, too, don’t discriminate where I shop. But there is always something nice about my local indie. Once again my dear friend, happiest of birthdays to you!

    • Thanks love! <3 There really is just an amazing feeling about my local indie. I know some people aren't AS fortunate to have one nearby/have one that is great with selection and such but I am SO thankful for mine!!

  2. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    This is so great!! I love that you got such a sweet birthday surprise from your friends, the bookstore & GAYLE FORMAN!!

    For my dream bookish birthday party.. I’d want my girls there! You + the whole gang! THAT would be amazing πŸ™‚

    • UM YES to your dream birthday!! I so wish this could happen. It would be a birthday filled with so many laughs, much love and an insane amount of fun!!

      And yes it was such a sweet, sweet surprise! <3 So thankful!

  3. That has got to be the best birthday ever!!!!! GAYLE FORMAN???? I know she’s all kinds of awesome, I mean her books are amazing but taking time to be part of this fabulous surprise for you- that’s just so sweet of her! You are so so lucky, Jamie! I envy your good fortune but at the same time I’m so happy you had such a fantastic 28th birthday! I hope I get to meet Gayle too, even for just one day. (See what i did there!!! Lol) Hope you enjoy dinner with Will! Belated happy birthday, Jamie! Stay amazing and gorgeous. πŸ˜‰

    PS: send me some of those macarons, pretty please? <3 haha!

    • Thanks Hazel!! Right?? I mean, it was HER book signing and she did that for ME! It was incredibly sweet and thoughtful and it’s one of those things that, while I didn’t THINK I could be a bigger Gayle Forman, somehow I love her even more now! She’s just a great person!

      Haha I love all the just one day puns I’ve been hearing! πŸ˜›


  4. So happy I got to celebrate with you!! <3

    • *hugs* You guys are the best! Seriously! Also, you are not allowed to leave book club EVER even when you move. I won’t allow it. Also, I love our rando McDonalds stop after lol. I laughed to Will about it..I was like it was the most wonderfully awesome and random night!

  5. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. I am blown away by your awesome book club, by Gayle’s generosity, and just by…EVERYTHING about your night. Your local indie is definitely the best. Happy birthday!

    Hope you have a wonderful evening with Will tonight. You deserve all the double happiness in the world.

    (Also, if I could choose to have an author celebrate with me, it would be either Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, or Diana Peterfreund).

  6. That’s so great! What an amazing birthday for a book-lover. I’m so happy you got to have such a great experience πŸ™‚ And with GAYLE FOREMAN! ALL OF THE AWESOME!
    Happy (belated) birthday to one of the bloggers that inspired me to start my own blog!

  7. Okay so to be honest I haven’t read any of Gayle Forman’s books. I guess I need to remedy that soon.Okay my dream birthday would involve all of my book blogger friends. Because I have made some amazing friends in the past six months. The most memorable birthday I had was my 23rd when my biological dad’s sister’s family showed up at the restaurant and surprised me by bringing my half sister who I had never met.It took me several days to wrap my head around that surprise.

  8. Omg that’s awesome!!! I have much love for my local indie and that’s partially because I met my book blogger bestie through the store :D. I loooooove that they got Gayle in on the celebration, that is just so sweet! I think I’d want Patrick Rothfuss to show up at my birthday celebration since I’m pretty sure he would do something completely crazy and awesome since that’s the kind of guy he is, haha

  9. Awhhhh, I’m so happy for you! πŸ˜€

  10. How fun!!!! What an incredible day for you! Happy belated birthday!!! xox!

  11. That’s AMAZING! Happy belated birthday, Jamie! I would lose it if Sarah Dessen gave me a birthday cake. She’s one of my favourite authors but she’s also the one I’d most like to hang out with (pretty much basing this solely on her tweets…I love her on Twitter!). I can’t think of any super epic amazing birthdays like you just had but I’ve had some good ones…being on a grade 12 grad trip to an amusement park on the eve of my birthday and my now boyfriend being the second person to wish me a happy birthday (after the girlfriend I was with), going to a bar on the eve of my birthday and getting shots bought for me as the clock turned midnight, a Saturday night birthday spent at the bar with my best friends…apparently I used to drink a lot on my birthday…lol. I think it’s great when you don’t expect much from your birthday and it ends up being super amazing. That’s the best kind πŸ™‚ Have a great time with Will tonight!

  12. That is so awesome! Gayle Forman is one of my favorite authors! So sweet! I really love the feel of indie bookstores and support them when I can.

  13. Wow, so many people are very jealous right now! That is an amazing bookish birthday and what an incredible way to celebrate. Gayle Forman is so sweet and so is your entire book club. I really think I might pass out if any of my favorite authors did this! Happy birthday you lucky, lucky lady!

  14. That’s so awesome! Happy Birthday!

  15. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! Your birthday sound amazing and I’m so happy for you!! Gayle Forman seems awesome and she even bought you cake!! Have an amazing dinner and I hope that this year will be your best one! πŸ™‚

  16. This is so amazing, Jamie! I would have just passed out if this happened to me.

    I actually have a similar story, except mine is a little more depressing. But really amazing, as well. It’s a little bit of both!

    I work in a bookstore, and there was a HUGE romance author event that I was supposed to help work. Sherry Thomas (The Burning Sky) was attending, which excited me, because I wasn’t able to meet her at the Austin Teen Book Festival. Unfortunately, the morning of the event I had to be rushed to the hospital because I got appendicitis, so I wasn’t able to work. We had talked the night before about meeting, and she tweeted me after my surgery and said that she was waiting until the end but couldn’t find me. I told her what happened, and the next day she tweeted me saying that she went BACK to my work and left me a note. It was the sweetest thing ever, and it basically made my life.

  17. BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER. You’ve got some great friends and it looks like you had a super amazing birthday and that is always awesome. YAY!

  18. Yay! Glad you guys had such a fun night! Sad I couldn’t be there. πŸ™

  19. That is so awesome!! and happy belated birthday! <3

  20. OMG! Happy Birthday! That sounds like it was an epic birthday. And I just totally listened to the audio book of If I Stay and LOVED IT! I must read everything else Gayle has ever written and need to get my hands on a copy of If I Stay for my collection. πŸ™‚

  21. Happy Birthday Jamie πŸ™‚ That is seriously the best birthday EVER! You are so lucky, what a great experience <3 All the best in the upcoming year!

  22. This is too awesome! I can see why this was the best birthday ever for you! So precious! Also, I need more vlogs from you, lady. Because I love them. Seriously.

  23. Happy Birthday!!! I am so sad I missed the event. I just moved near Children’s Book World and I really wanted to see Gayle and to see you on your birthday! I blame all the stupid boxes I have to unpack from moving. πŸ™ I am so glad to see that you had an awesome time and seriously, how can you ever top that birthday? Best birthday ever!!

  24. Oh, no, that was yesterday? Darn!!

    Wish I could have been there!!! What an amazing night!
    And…Happy belated birthday!!! <3

  25. I’m so glad that you had such a good birthday, Jamie! I really need to read Gayle Forman’s books. I have three of them signed so I have no idea what I’m waiting for. She sounds like such a wonderful person, and I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her books. πŸ™‚

  26. YAYYYYY!! Awesome post!!! You’re welcome!! It was such a fun night too, glad to have been a part of it! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ xx

  27. Ahhhh — what an awesome birthday!!!! Happy happy happy birthday to you … hope 28 is your BEST YEAR yet!!! xoxoxoxxoxo

  28. AAAAH, CONGRATULATIONS, Jamie! Such an amazing birthday celebration you had; and how sweet of your girls (also Gayle to took a part in it)!!! Happy belated birthday, have an awesome year ahead! <3

  29. Aww! Happy Birthday!! You sound like you had an amazing time!! And getting to meet an author on your birthday is possibly one of the best presents ever! For my birthday, I had a book cake. Let the bookishness shine through! Haha! πŸ˜€

  30. Wow! That looks like a seriously awesome Birthday πŸ™‚

    Love the cake feeding pic.

  31. Holy. Crap. You lucky girl — that sounds like THE most perfect birthday EVAR! That’s so awesome that you were shown bookish love by your friends AND favorite author! I clicked on the link to Gayle Foreman’s upcoming tour dates and it turns out she’ll be in my neck of the wood WITH Stephanie Perkins — better believe I’m going!! Happy birthday (again), Jamie!! <3

  32. A very very belated happy birthday. You look really pretty, Jamie! And man, that was one awesome birthday!! πŸ™‚

  33. That is awesome! I really need to find myself an indie bookstore. Not for this reason, but just because I love them. There aren’t any close by me and by the time I found one that sounded really cool, they closed down πŸ™

    I think if I could have an author visit, I would pick one that would bring all her author friends. So maybe Susan Dennard. Then she could bring Sarah Maas and Erin Bowan and… well, you get the idea πŸ™‚ Actually, I almost did get to see Susan on my birthday, but it was four hours away and conflicted with plans I’d already made. So that was a bummer.

    I’m glad you got to see Gayle though – and she fed you cake. So bonus! Happy birthday!

  34. We have the same birthday!! I just turned 23, it was celebrated with owl cupcakes and a super small party (I also don’t do well with all eyes on me lol). I read If I Stay and Where She Went earlier this year and fell in love! I think I’ll start Just One Day this week, can’t wait to get into another Gayle Forman book.

    And if I had to choose, I would absolutely looove to have Rainbow Rowell at my birthday party. All three of her books are on my favorites list, and her blog posts make me smile like crazy!

    Happy Late Birthday!

  35. Oh YAY! I am so, so glad it was such a lovely birthday!! It’s always the best to be around people you care about doing things you love, and BOOKS no less! πŸ™‚
    That is SO FANTASTIC that Gayle GOT YOU A FLIPPING BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!! What an awesome birthday! So glad it was wonderful! πŸ™‚

  36. Happy birthday! I’m glad that you had such a fun and amazing day! Here’s to many more. πŸ™‚

  37. So glad you had a fabulous birthday! <3

    I seriously wish I lived closer to y'all because your book club looks like so much FUN!

  38. Wow! Are you sure you weren’t dreaming? This sounds like an amazing dream birthday!! Let’s see, if I could have any author come and share my birthday with me, I think I would choose Julie Kagawa – Love her!!

  39. That sounds like a great birthday! Wow!! And that card is so beautiful! I was already planning on reading her books at some point but reading this post is going to push me into reading them sooner. πŸ™‚

  40. Happy birthday! πŸ˜€ That’s so cool that your favorite author can do things like that whereas I’ll just have to dream about having J.K. Rowling coming to see me on my birthday (le sigh).

    (BTW, how do you subscribe to comments? I’ve looked for a button everywhere but no luck)!

  41. What a great celebration! Happy belated birthday. πŸ™‚

  42. Best birthday ever! Seriously, how can you beat favorite author + cake?

  43. Belated happy birthday my dearest Jamie! I’m glad you had such an epic birthday celebration, and can only imagine how huge your grin was from all the surprises + awesomeness from the book, Gayle FREAKING Forman and your indie bookstore. Thanks for sharing about your awesome day!


  1. YAY OCTOBER! says:

    […] 1. I turned 28! And Gayle Forman came to town for a signing. And brought me a cake. […]