BEA Highs and Lows

I am very relieved that I survived my first (and probably last) BEA experience.  It was a whirlwind trip that is unfortunately still going on.  My flight to Chicago got canceled, so I am chilling in a hotel (that I had to pay for) and waiting for my flight to leave tomorrow afternoon.  Yeah, that’s right….I will be getting home 24 hours after I was originally supposed to.  I hope my cats are okay.

Since I am still a little crabby about the whole airport fiasco and not in the mood to read, I thought I would post about my favorite parts of BEA.  I wish I had pics to share, but they will have to come later since my camera cord is at home.

Here are the best parts of BEA:

**Getting to see Abby!!  I haven’t seen her in months, so it was great to get to hang out with her again.  She was the perfect partner in crime to tackle the expo.

**The librarian’s dinner on Tuesday night was awesome!  We got like five books and dinner for free just for being librarians!!  All five authors spoke and they all did so well.  Jane Green was my fave because her accent was so cute, but I loved them all!

**The author’s breakfast with Jon Stewart, John Grisham, Condoleezza Rice, and Mary Roach.  Even though I didn’t get to actually meet any of these people (sigh) they did an amazing job of speaking.  Each one was really interesting to listen to, and of course, Jon Stewart was hilarious!  I think my favorite had to be Mary Roach, who talked about her new book Packing for Mars.  It’s about the more “human” aspects of astronaut life (like cleanliness, sex, and pooping in space).  I think it will be awesome!!

**Getting Jeff Kinney’s autograph!  I got the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie Diary signed and I am going to use it as a grand prize for the summer reading club (after I read it, of course).  I hope the kids will be as excited about it as I am.

**Getting Wendy Mass’ and Ingrid Law’s new books made the trip for me!!  These ladies are two of my favorites and I literally squealed when I picked up The Candymakers and Scumble.

**The Librarians’ Lounge and the shipping area were so convenient.  A free place to get food and a place to drop off all of my books in order to save my shoulder??  What more could I want??

**Getting free books!!!  Did I mention how amazing it is to get free books!  I did not get a count of how many I actually picked up, but I shipped two giant boxes back along with stowing some of them in my suitcase.  I picked up most of them for the library, but some of them were just for me 🙂

Here were some of the things I was not so fond of:

**The autographing area was not well organized at all.  Sometimes you had to push your way through four layers of people to get through to your line.  At least the lines were filled with polite people (mainly booksellers and librarians) who remained nice even when we all wanted to scream in frustration.

**I am not a fan of the city of New York.  I can’t imagine ever coming here as a tourist just to be a tourist.  Taking a cab ride anywhere is terrifying and walking is even scarier.  I don’t care what kind of wonderful things the city has to offer, I really don’t plan on coming back any time soon.

**There were a lot of rumblings among the seasoned BEA goers that there were not as many ARCs this year and that the publishers were not as willing to give things out.  I have nothing to compare it to, but I did notice that it did not seem to be as magical as everyone had described it (I was not literally swimming in books like I thought I would be).  But I did get a lot of great books and I have nothing to complain about.

**Getting stuck in New York is totally terrible.  Awful, awful awful.  I had an emotional breakdown at the airport in front of a lot of businessmen.  I probably should have been embarrassed, but I will never see these people again, so I did not care.  I am much more calm now, but I am still upset that I won’t be home for another 28 hours.

Overall, it was a great experience and I had a good time picking up books like a human tornado, but I don’t think I would spend the money to come again.

I will be sure to post pictures of all of my fun stuff as soon as my boxes get to the library.



2 Responses to “BEA Highs and Lows”

  1. 1 Susan May 28, 2010 at 9:39 am

    BEA is always tons of fun! BEC (Canada) used to be great too but I think they’ve discontinued it too. It’s such a shame, because other than all the obvious perks, it was just helpful and inspiring to talk with others in the field and learn about new resources. Actually one that I just found out about is like a search/wiki tool (free!) called infloox where readers can research the influences behind their fave authors or books. I can see that being useful for reading groups too.

  2. 2 Abby May 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    I completely agree with everything you said (especially how getting to see and hang out with you was one of my favorite things and how getting stuck in New York sucksucksucks).

    I think I would come again if I could cut the costs down. But I definitely think that if I go in the future, I’ll have adjusted expectations and I’ll be going more for that one-on-one contact with publishers rather than trying to “get my money’s worth” by grabbing all the free ARCs I can find. If I was local, I can totally see going every year.

    I know it’s more convenient for industry people, but I wish they’d move the convention around like they used to do. I’d totally go if it was in Chicago. (Although the perks of that would be seeing all my Chicagoland folks.)

    ANYhoo. I hope you’re on a plane right now and that your travel today goes more smoothly than our travel yesterday. *hugs*

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