I’M BACK. It is insane how quickly the week in NYC/at Book Expo America flew by, but now that I spent most of yesterday catching up on sleep, I feel a little more prepared to recap some of the stuff that happened. No lie, the entire week sort of blurs together, but hopefully I can manage!
Sunday, June 3: Early morning for me as I headed out of LAX to JFK. Despite my carry-on having to go through an additional security screening (apparently my box with business cards was suspicious, ha!), the entire flight went smoothly. Yay! I arrived at JFK around 4:30, but because of traffic and who knows what else, I didn’t get to our apartment until around 6:30. Hungry and alone, I waited for my roomies (Jen from Almost Grown-Up, Katie from Bookishly Yours, and Lindsey from A Storm of Words) to arrive before heading out to explore and grab some dinner. After the singing and food, we went back to the apartment for the start of our late night chats that would continue throughout the week, meet our drug dealer (joke, joke), and then, finally, SLEEP, to prepare for the next day.
Monday, June 4: Kicking off the week was the BEA Blogger Con on Monday. We got up early to pick up our badges and then settled in at Table 15 where we got to meet Jen from A Book and a Latte, Emilie from A Beautiful Madness, and Katherine from The Lady Critic’s Library (plus, Christa from Hooked on Books!). The authors that rotated at our table were Jenny Han, Sonia Manzano, and Tricia Rayburn who were all great. We stuck around through Jennifer Weiner’s keynote, as well as a panel or two, but ended up leaving after lunch. The BEA Blogger Con had the potential to be very useful for the bloggers present, but in my opinion it was just…strange. Hopefully there will be improvements for next year!
After doing some touristy exploration, we went back to the apartment for dinner and resumed our insane chats until sleep.
Tuesday, June 5: The first official day of BEA! I’ve been to big conventions before (Comic-Con) and I still had no idea what to expect. Waiting in line for the exhibit hall to open was an experience: people with masks kept passing by (they were for Melissa Marr’s Carnival of Souls), old ladies cutting the line, Katie deciding to play One Direction…funnn! When it was finally time to head in, we made an immediate dash to the Scholastic booth to pick up a copy of Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys because it was our MUST-HAVE of the convention. The book pile was already low, but we succeeded! After that it was a blur of booth hopping, autograph signings, the YA Buzz panel, and mooore. The authors we met at the signings include Gretchen McNeil, Susan Ee, Lauren Oliver, and Maggie Stiefvater (she told me my tears for the ending of The Scorpio Races kept her young, haha). Then it was time for Apocalypsies event before heading back to the apartment before heading out again for the Teen Author Carnival at the Jefferson Market Library. The Teen Author Carnival was definitely a highlight of the week. Authors galore! And they were all charming and funny and ahhh…I loved it! The subway ride to and from was definitely an experience as well.
Wednesday, June 6: OH, THIS DAY. Big plans of starting off early were put off by Lindsey and I deciding to sleep in (note to self: don’t turn on the television the night before a big event). Katie and Jen were nice enough to save us seats at the children’s author breakfast and we arrived just in time to hear John Green speak. He was as brilliant as you can imagine and Lois Lowry followed, bringing us all to tears. Kadir Nelson was fantastic as well and I’m glad that Lindsey and I woke up in time to hear all three of them.
The rest of the day was more booth hopping and autograph signings with Maureen Johnson, Sarah J. Maas, Diana Peterfreund, and Tamara Ireland Stone. The day ended with Shake Shack and RAIN.
Thursday, June 8: WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT’S THE LAST DAY OF BEA?! Hard to believe, but the closing of BEA had arrived. While Katie and Jen went off towards the Flatiron, Lindsey and I went to Javits to acquire an autograph ticket for the signing she was attending for her mom.
We thought Thursday would be a light day for us but that was SO not the case. In addition to more books that we snagged, we also went to the signings for Alexandra Bracken, Jenny Haan, Siobhan Vivian, Kristin Cashore, and Meagan Spooner. We were right behind Kat Zhang and Sarah J. Maas for Meagan Spooner’s Skylark and they were super lovely to chat with while we waited.
If the last day of BEA wasn’t sad enough, it was also the day Katie was flying back home. SADNESS. We saw her off and then proceeded to clean and organize in preparation of our pending departure soon:
Friday, June 7 & Saturday, June 8: Friday consisted of post office adventures, walking around, MoMA, and our fancy dinner. Our non-book blogging roomie, Linda, ended dragging us out for drinks, too. We packed that night and the next morning we went off to Books of Wonder (did you think we were done with bookish things? think again!) for the Lauren Oliver & Friends event. We got to meet and chat with Alexa from Alexa Loves Books as well. Fun!
Following that, our time in NYC had come to an end. We went back to the apartment for the last time, picked up our sad luggage, and turned over the keys. AND OFF WE WENT TO OUR RESPECTIVE HOMES.
I’m sure I missed a lot in this recap, but Book Expo America was such a fun experience to have and, no joke, the countdown to next year’s event has already begun! Getting books and meeting authors was great, and I’m looking forward to doing that again, but I’m so, so thankful for the memories I have with my roomies and the other awesome bloggers I got to meet along the way.
For anyone wondering what I snagged, here’s my book haul minus a few from the Blogger Con that I forgot to picture:
To my roomies: DAUNTLESS BABIES AT BEA 2013!!!