I did it!
2015 was my very first BEA trip, and I'm so glad I went.
I'm going to do a little reflecting and book hauling and starting my series of giveaways with Everything, Everything, because PRH was awesome and gave me two copies, and I just want to share the love!
I took Wednesday off work because I was attending the blogger's conference, and I wanted the whole day to peruse the show floor and meet people. I live pretty close to the Javits, so I just walked. And for those of you who have never been here, this is the behemoth that was at the end of the block.
And that's definitely not the whole building. Wouldn't fit in one shot.
I attended the blogger's conference, and I met a lot of new bloggers I didn't know about, so that was a lot of fun. The first panel I went to included Sarah from Forever Young Adult, which is a site I've followed for YEARS, so that was fun. She was also insightful and funny. There were some other people too, but I don't remember who (one was a BookTuber? I know a lot of people watch BookTube, but I haven't really found any videos I've gotten into. Someone recommend something to me!).
The second panel was literally useless. It was supposed to be on how to quickly create content because blogging is such a high-paced sort of thing, but it ended up being out-of-touch women (it'd be like if my mom did this) trying to tell me that Instagram is important, and have you downloaded Twitter yet?
Mostly concentrating my energies on the show floor after the bloggers' conference, I ended up accumulating a lot of books very quickly — and soon I will be giving some of those away to those of you who didn't get to be here!
These are the middle grade and YA titles I accumulating (with a few of the adult ones mixed in and in the side in the right photo). I feel like I got a good mix of all age ranges and genres, and I'm pretty excited to dive into stuff I don't have any prior knowledge of (like George, a MG novel about a young transgender boy who just wants to play Charlotte in the school play, and The Dogs, a book that was talked up to me by its publisher Sourcebooks and sounds AMAZING).
(Keep going to see what's happening with that extra copy of Everything, Everything)
I also had tickets to BookCon. I knew ahead of time I may not like this event, but I live super close to the event hall, so tickets were cheap for me because I didn't have to consider travel, room & board, food, etc. I ended up only attending Saturday, and even then, I got overwhelmed and left early in the afternoon. I stood in an absurdly long line for the BFF panel, which was Sarah (FYA again) moderating the discussion between the wonderful Gayle Forman, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han. It was amazing, and these ladies are brilliant, and I totally want to grow up to be them (I'll also settle for being BFFs with them).
I stayed put for the following panel because 1.) I was in the second row and didn't want to give up that awesome location and 2.) it was Felicia Day next, whom I love because yay for nerds!
I loved listening to her talk about how she grew up and got interested in what she does. I was a little frustrated with the fans there (mostly teens) because she was there to promote her book, and I was genuinely interested in learning about it, but the questions were all geared toward specific things in television shows. But it was still great. She was super funny and weird and adorable as expected.
But I left BookCon real quick because lines were insane and people were greedy and running everywhere and the good evening panels were filled up hours before they began.
Was it worth it?
That's the big question. As a BEA newbie, it was fun to finally be able to go and see what all the fuss was about. The thing I most enjoyed was getting to finally meet bloggers I've been internet friends with for years but never met in real life.
But I am living in NYC. I didn't have to figure in travel costs, hotel rooms, food, transportation, or anything else other then my regular things I spend money on.
The event was chaotic, but fun. But I don't think it's worth the money and hassle to travel to attend, let alone vacation time needed to actually attend. I will most likely not go next year in Chicago (unless work sends me or I'm for some reason living in the Chicago area). Too much money for not enough payout.
I picked up so many books, I have to give some away!The lovely people at the PRH booth handed me TWO copies of Everything, Everything, and let me tell you, it is BEAUTIFUL. It's a soft cover and has illustrations on the inside and the title is embossed, and I love it.
So one of you can win your very own copy, even if you didn't get to go to BEA (or you did, and the line was too long and you didn't get a copy of this one).
It is US only and you must be 13 years or older to enter.
Did you go to BEA? What did you like? Favorite book you picked up?
Missed BEA? What did you do instead? What book would you most want to win next out of my pile? (If enough people want one, I may just do a contest based on demand for an ARC!)