BEA Excursion, Day 1

Today marked the start of Book Expo America, otherwise known as librarian/bookworm/blogger heaven.  It was so heavenly, in fact, that I entirely forgot to eat lunch.  There were just so many distractions!

I woke up this morning and headed to the Javits Center, where I saw for the first time the controlled chaos of BEA.  There are so many people, and so many books!  I ended up coming back to the hotel with around thirty books, and it’s only the first day.  All of them look so good!  The highlight of my day was meeting Debra Dean.  She seems like a really cool author, and I can’t wait to read her new novel entitled “The Mirrored World.”

I also got a kick out of the Scientologists who were dressed as  pirates.  Actually, I’m not sure that they were Scientologists, but I’m assuming so because that publisher, Galaxy Press, is working entirely on re-printing L. Ron Hubbard’s old pulp sci-fi stories.  I’m rather curious to read one of his books just to see what they’re like.  The Scientology Pirates reminded me of Locke in RSURS, and it was a cheerful way to start the morning.

Some things I learned today…

#1 – All of the guides to Book Expo America that I’ve read on the internet begin with “Wear comfy shoes,” often in all caps and with lots of exclamation points.  My shoes were pretty comfy, but apparently not comfy enough.  By the time I got back to the hotel, the blisters had manifested themselves and I awkwardly limped my way over to a hole-in-the-wall sushi joint for dinner, which involved copious amounts of green tea and a glass of plum wine.  I then had to make the requisite “Shit I need flip flops so I can walk tomorrow” trip to CVS.

#2 – NYC has ten times as many cabs as it needs, but none of them will actually stop for you.  When you’re carrying your body weight in books, this can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it starts to rain and you realize that your umbrella is back at the hotel.  No wonder New Yorkers are stereotypically angry.

#3 – It’s best to take your own bag to BEA.  Exhibitors will give you bags, but bag check charges per item, so a giant duffel bag (or rolling suitcase, ideally) would be more economical.

#4 – Many of the publishers rotate ARC giveaways and signings every hour or two, so it’s a good idea to swing by at multiple points throughout the day.  The Macmillan booth is particularly nice.

#5 – The lines for a book signing from a popular author are longer than Soviet-era breadlines.  And yes, I did get a signed copy of the next Deborah Harkness novel.

#6 – Do not expect consistent (or existent) cell phone service in the Javits Center.

#7 – Everyone attending the conference got their business cards from Vistaprint.  Great minds think alike!  Also, I should probably get a nicer case for my business cards than the box that they came in for next year.

#8 – My BEA Roommate is not a zombie or an axe murderer.  Whew!


Categories: Other | Tags: , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “BEA Excursion, Day 1

  1. Pingback: So I don’t need to buy books for a very long time… « Books Without Any Pictures

  2. The Macmillan booth intimidated me at first, because it was filled with seriously looking men in suits. But once I worked up the nerve to talk to them, you’re right, they were all really nice.

    I’m so glad I brought a little rolling suitcase with me to check. It was such a relief to be able to do a book drop half way through the day.

    Glad to hear you had a great time!

    • I brought a duffel bag after the first day, but it was still a bit of a pain to carry books back to the hotel. Next time I think I’ll just go straight to the post office at the end of each day.

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well!

  3. Reading your post gives a nice flavour of the excitement. Thanks for sharing it.

    • You’re welcome! It’s been an amazing week, and I’m glad that I decided to go. I’ve discovered so many new and wonderful authors. 🙂

  4. Richard

    Books that are worth a read from him are Battlefield Earth and Typewriter in the Sky. He wrote some decent novels sadly he wasted his time with drugs and his stupid religion. But those two books are decent but I like Typewriter in the Sky for reasons that would be obvious once you read it.

  5. Funny post! Your adventure sounds pretty awesome.

  6. Oh Grace, I’m so jealous. I hope you have an amazing time – there’s books so how could you not!! Did you read the first Deborah Harkness??
    Good point for No.8.
    Looking forward to all your posts about this and seeing what goodies you buy while you’re there.
    Lynn 😀

    • I didn’t read the first Deborah Harkness, but I’ve heard good things and decided to wait in her line. It was insane, but not nearly as insane as the line for Libba Bray. I decided against waiting in that one today because it was a bit too extreme for me… 😀

  7. Love #8, as long as that’s good everything else (Even sore feet – I can so empathize!) is OK 🙂

    Envious of everyone there! I”ll have to look into going next year. Enjoy the rest of the event!

    • Thanks! My roommates and boyfriend kept telling me that I was being sketchy by staying with someone from the internet, even though I pointed out that I’m from the internet too. Everything’s been working out quite well! 🙂

  8. I am so insanely jealous right now. 😛

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