I’m still in disbelief that I actually attended BEA. The event was on my 2015 bucket list, so I mentioned it to my dad in early February, and he said we’d make it happen. Even when we booked our flights, it didn’t quite feel real.
Before I knew it, the month of May had come upon us. I had majorly procrastinated. About two weeks prior to the event, I began to panic because I had not yet created a color-coded schedule like everyone else. I decided to buckle down, and that’s when the Googling began. I read so many BEA-prep posts I could quote them in my sleep! No kidding. Rolling suitcase. Snacks. Portable charging device. Snacks. Comfortable footwear. Snacks.
Arrived in NYC around midday and went to a Yankee game that evening. (Anyone else a fan?!)
When we got back to our hotel that night, I freaked out a little because BEA IN THE MORNING OMG. I made sure I had everything at the ready – rolling suitcase, snacks, schedule, outfit, sneakers. And then I went to bed but didn’t get much sleep. (How could I?!)
Woke up early. My dad and I grabbed breakfast and took the subway. When the Javits Center came into view, it took my breath away. It’s a BIG building.
So this first day of BEA was more about the Bloggers Conference for us. (I’ll be blogging about my Blogger Con experience tomorrow!) The exhibit hall wouldn’t open until 1.
After our morning sessions at Blogger Con, my dad and I grabbed lunch and jumped in line for the exhibit hall upstairs. I was armed with my schedule and the catalogue for the day, which highlighted some of the authors/books/events taking place that afternoon. (It also advertised several galley drops which hadn’t been listed online!)
I was practically bouncing when the exhibit hall opened and the line began moving forward. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, so it was incredibly exciting when we entered and I saw all the booths and the stacks of books. My dad and I went a little crazy that first afternoon, grabbing every tote bag people thrust at us and every available book we laid eyes on.
I snagged an ARC of A Thousand Nights from the Disney Hyperion booth, because that was happening first thing. But then, according to my schedule, I didn’t have anything really pressing until my last Blogger Con session at 2:30.
And I’m actually glad that was the case, because it gave me a chance to freely explore and to get a feel for the layout of the floor. I was also lucky to run into Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and Kelly of Belle of the Literati at a Macmillan galley drop, and later Summer of Blue Sky Shelf (she knew who I was, which was cool)!
After my last Blogger Con session, I returned to the exhibit hall to wait in line for an autographed copy of The Witch Hunter. And that marked the completion of my first day of BEA, so my dad and I found a quiet spot outside the hall to sort our books. I eliminated several books, and then packed up my suitcase.
Thursday was my busiest day. It was characterized by waiting in very long lines for what felt like a really long time. But it was actually quite fun because I made so many new friends.
This is what went through my head every time I met fellow bloggers: MY PEOPLE!
My schedule was so packed with awesome galley drops and author signings that I knew I’d be making some tough choices. First on the list: run to Disney Hyperion to get in line for a special edition ARC of Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I was about 100th in line, but it was worth the wait because Alexandra Bracken was super sweet and personable! Meanwhile, my dad surprised me with a signed collector’s edition of James Dashner’s Maze Runner.
After Passenger we made our way to the autographing area. So I’m waiting in line for Megan Sheperd, author of The Cage, when my dad goes, “Isn’t that James Dashner?” So I turn around, and sure enough, there’s James Dashner just chillin’. Someone held my place in line while I approached him for a picture.
It should have been time for lunch after that, but I realized the line for the Harlequin teen “power hour” was already forming. “Power hour” was pretty awesome because 5 authors were signing. I was pretty excited about Adi Alsaid’s Never Always Sometimes and Eleanor Herman’s Legacy of Kings. Also, major points to Eleanor Herman for wearing a toga and a crown.
That afternoon I spent some quality time at Macmillan, first while waiting in line for an ARC of Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales, and then while waiting for Marissa Meyer (EEK!).
Meeting Marissa Meyer was most definitely the highlight of my day. I love her books – she’s an incredible story teller! When her signing for Fairest was over, I looped back around to chat with her. I totally fangirled. 🙂
Shoutout to all the new friends I made on Thursday while waiting in lines!
This was the highlight of my morning: My dad and I got off the subway and were walking toward the Javits Center, maybe 2 blocks out, when I turned to my right and realized I was walking alongside Shae from Shae Lit! I introduced myself (and hoped she didn’t think it was totally creepy that I recognized her on the street) and we chatted on our way to the Javits Center.
I got in line for the Black Widow signing at 9, then quickly made my way to the autographing area because Leigh Bardugo would be signing ARCs of Six of Crows at 10:30 and I knew the line would be super long. (It was.) I used my front-of-the-line pass, which was an excellent decision. Leigh Bardugo is so sweet and just generally awesome.
I snagged a few more books before my dad and I left. I was quite tired.
I could not have done it without my dad, who deserves a huge thank-you for helping make the trip possible and also for doing everything I said. (“Dad, you MUST go to Penguin immediately for the Soundless drop!” OR “Dad, please wait in line at Table 12 for a signed copy of Snow Like Ashes.”)
Shoutout to my Friday friends!
*And if we met and I did not mention you in this post, I apologize. If we didn’t exchange business cards I have probably forgotten your name! But THANK YOU THANK YOU to EVERYONE I met at BEA who made this trip extraordinarily special.
Total: 47 books
10 hardback, 37 paperback