Lezersfeest Rotterdam: Words and dancing stiff hips
A party for readers by readers. That’s the best way to describe the Lezersfeest in the Rotterdam library a few weeks ago. A new experience for me. I am a book lover, yet I spend most of my time with people whom are afraid of more than three words in a row. So, this night proved to be an interesting one.
Although fabulously late, the Girlfriend and I were just in time to see the performance of Thomas Acda. Acda, world famous in the Netherlands and one half of the duo: Acda en de Munnik, seemed nervous. As was I. I wasn’t used to a party full of educated people. Acda started with a few strong jokes, but soon the atmosphere became awkward. While reading from his new novel Onderweg met Roadie, about a fat dog hating singer-songwriter, more and more people began to whisper and some even left his performance. Clearly not all people did like to be read. Somebody behind me even whispered: ‘Where is the music?’
I couldn’t agree more. I’d had enough. The Girlfriend and I made our escape.
After our escape we decided to explore the library a bit. It was heaven for any self-respecting bookfanatic. Five stories full of literature, books and authors. We were living the dream. Bestselling authors such as Michel van Egmond, Hugo Borst and Arthur Japin were present. The last one impressed during his performance, talking about his book and himself. To be your own subject in a 45 minute speech is anything beyond I have ever seen. Narcissism? Unfortunately, we couldn’t find our rhythm. Rapidly walking from one author to the other. The angry faces when interrupting someone’s speech to ask the Girlfriend for the bar din’t help either. Time to retreat and develop a new game plan.
While the poet Kamagurka told an apparently very funny story about sunglasses, we checked out the audience. We were definitely the younger ones. Most people were 40+ and this gave the evening a weird but not unpleasant vibe. Middle-aged man in shirts, seemingly from the 80’s, accompanied by woman in dresses, which suited perfect 10 years ago, were having the time of their life. This was their night out and I enjoyed their fun. During our last tour through the library we stumbled up on Raoul de Jong, winner of the Best book of Rotterdam 2015 with: De grootsheid van dit al. He moved the audience with a story about meeting his father for the first time. Never thought you could be fired as a volunteer, but Raouls father proved me wrong.
The performances came to an ending and this meant only one thing: Dance. Dance. Dance. DJ of the night was DJ Okkie. For some reason I thought he would be bald but he disappointed us. With this name he gave us exactly what we expected: a weird mix of all sorts of music imaginable. Not the kind of music you think to dance to. Think again! The younglings among the audience hesitated to dance but the elder ones (those with the weird shirts and tight dresses) released a bombardment of stiff dance moves which haven’t been spotted for ages. An absolute delight for the eye: the woman in panther jeans stole our hearts. We were too shocked and fascinated to dance. And let’s be honest, we would have been destroyed by those dance moves. Despite the horrible pun (Boekienight) the closing party turned out to be fabulous, but tiring. The Girlfriend longed for the exit. It was time to go and let the oldies do what they do best.