This past Thursday and Friday my friend Kristin and I took personal days off from school and trekked to Chicago to attend BEA. It was an amazing two days - a book lover's dream.
We went into BEA as newbies which allowed us to not worry about which author signing we missed or what ARC we just had to have.
I came home with just over 100 books - an incredible collection of everything and anything to read,
The very first book I snagged on Thursday morning from the Scholastic booth: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. Little Sister was caught up in it already last night.
And later on Thursday, I met Jodi Picoult. I was jealous of the gal in front of me in line who was friends with her - she got to know her from her days as a bookseller.
Friday morning we raced to the line to meet Emily Giffin, who was just as skinny and beautiful and friendly as I could have hoped for.
Other BEA highlights:
- the man on the shuttle bus that I sat next to (someone who worked at a book store in Wellesley, Massachusetts) really knew what he was talking about when he raved about Black Crouch's Dark Matter. I read it in one sitting on the way home from Chicago.
- always know what shuttle bus will take you back to your hotel. Even if the shuttle bus says it will take you to the Hampton Inn downtown, it doesn't mean it is your Hampton Inn downtown.
- bring plenty of duffle bags to haul your loot in. And make sure you can lift them. Books are very heavy.
- Alison Winn Scotch was very friendly and kind when I met her and autographed a book even though I missed her scheduled appearance. And now I will for sure read everything she ever writes.
- Talk to the people you are with in line. I met some interesting people - some who had been to previous BEAs and could give some tips and others who were enjoying this for the first time just like me.
- take pictures. I wish I had taken more, although I did get a few important pictures of some authors I love
- I ran into Carol Fitzgerald from Bookreporter.com, which was exciting since I've been reading her weekly newsletter for more than a decade now and feel like I know her.
- wear shoes that are great for walking. You will be doing plenty of it.
- I should have brought business cards that I could have handed out with my blog information on it. Maybe next year.
- Be prepared to be surprised and excited by things you weren't expecting. Allen Eskins' new book comes out this fall and I didn't even know it. I was first in line for him to sign this book for me. He was born in Remsen, Iowa-an intriguing tidbit I found out after I explained how much I enjoyed the setting of his books (Minnesota and Iowa) because I know where the places her wrote about are.
- We have heard from many sources that BEA 2016 in Chicago was much quieter than those in New York City, which is the hub of publishing. However, it was plenty busy for us. I am curious to attend a BEA in NYC - could it really be bigger? busier? include more free books? I can barely see how.
- I've already started talking at Kristin about BEA 2017 in NYC. I'm not sure she's in on this yet. Now that I've had a taste of it, I want to go every single year!
Laurie Halse Anderson's third book in the Chains series
Cookies for free
Books I picked up on Day 1
And now, it's back to reality. Laundry. Dishes. Lesson plans. All the things no one thought to do while I was gone.