At least now I know what to expect if I get the chance to go another signing in the future.
Arrived at the location (Forbidden Planet store in London) a little early, the store not open when I arrived (the signing was to have started at 10am, as soon as store opened I assumed). I then had the thought that I should get an autograph book, for a separate autograph as well as a few signed books.
Which meant going back up the road to only stationery store I knew of in the area, Paperchase. They didn't have any autograph books, so settled on a notebook with blank coloured pages. A bit pricey, but then I may have been able to get a cheaper one if I had time to look around instead of spur of the moment idea shopping.
A quick look in Waterstone's bookstore on the way back, was tempted to buy another paperback for signing, but I already had two. Saw the single m15m book on the shelf in the small film section. :)
I reached the end of the queue that had formed, which was at rough guess 100 to 200 metres long. Then I
So finally in the line in the alley behind the building, at about 20 minutes after 10am, and waited, and waited, and waited. For about two hours, in the chilly November morning. At least it didn't rain, but I had unwisely decided not to bring hat or gloves because I did not factor in waiting outside in a long line.
Also did not bring much to keep myself occupied while queuing, so looked at the people around me (didn't know anyone that could go so went by myself), listened to some of the conversations when I could and generally tried to keep warm. Generally I try to carry a library book to read on journeys, but today had too many other books with me. Had a quick look at the books for signing, but didn't want to read them. They were pristine and new, their pages had not been spread open nor had their treasures inside been sampled... *ahem* I mean, I didn't want to sully them or handle them too much in case I dropped or damaged them.
Mr. Gaiman seems a friendly guy, not sure how tall he was, as he was signing from behind a raised countertop. After I got what I came for (three books signed, one autograph, and I gave him a book), I didn't want to take up his time so didn't stay too long. Hope I didn't seem too abrupt. It was nice that he didn't mind continuing until the queue had all been seen, I reached him after end of the alloted time for the signing (after 12 noon), and there were still some people behind me. Apparently he finished at 2:30pm and still had another signing to go to.
So two hours of waiting in line, for about five to ten minutes in his presence (depending if you count watching some of the signees before me), and I left with his signatures and books to keep.
Later I went to the library and got out American Gods. (What? I'm not going to handle a signed book when I can borrow a copy from the library to read.)