Patti Smith’s ‘A Book of Days’ Book Launch Recap

I first read Just Kids by Patti Smith several years ago after seeing the cover plastered all over my Instagram feed. I was hooked. I have read the book several times since initially reading it, along with getting into her other pieces of work and her music. 

Long story short, I became a lifelong Patti Smith fan. 

Fast forward to the present.

A couple months ago, my parents and I booked a trip to New York City and it conveniently coincided with the date of the book launch for Patti’s newest book, A Book of Days

Book cover for A Book of Days.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought a ticket faster. 

On the evening of November 14th my mom and I lined up behind a few other people, who had also gotten there early, outside of The Great Hall at Cooper Union. We killed time by complaining about being cold, chatting with other people, and just people watching. My anticipation was building the whole time but even more so when doors opened, and we got let in. 

My mom and I picked up our books and found seats close to the front and waited for the event to start. Patti walked out onto the stage like an old friend, announcing “I’m not supposed to be out here yet, but I just couldn’t take sitting back there anymore.” 

Patti speaking.

She poked fun at herself for wearing the same outfit for the past 20 years (which was iconic – black jeans and boots, some sort of white top, and a black jacket), and when the time came started talking about A Book of Days. Patti spoke about how the book came to be, going in depth with a few particular photos, and thanking people who helped her along the way. There was also a Q & A period with her daughter, Jesse. But naturally, it wouldn’t be a Patti Smith event without music. She sang a few songs alongside Jesse, and some friends. 

The night concluded with everyone out of their seats, singing and dancing to People Have the Power.

Patti and friends standing and smiling.

If you asked my 18-year-old self if I thought I would ever see someone as quintessential as Patti Smith in person I probably would have laughed, or stood with my jaw on the floor. I am very grateful that timing worked out for this once and a lifetime opportunity. 

I left the venue feeling motivated and inspired. Inspired to start seeing and experiencing things with different perspectives and motivated to write about them. 

Books Travel

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