I have returned in one exhausted piece from my New York City adventures this past week at BEA and Book Blogger Convention. According to UPS, my box of plunder is sitting around in Harrisburg somewhere to arrive on Wednesday, which renders me somewhat incapable of giving much of an all-encompassing impression of my first, oh, day and a half at BEA. I was in an overwhelmed stupor for about half my time on the show floor at BEA, so I'm not sure what all is even in the box, and I was so stingy with my photo taking, that I have little to share with you in that regard, either. Until the box comes, that is. I'm hoping the box will help me to recover most of my memories of Wednesday, when I was the most stupefied by everything going on around me. That said, I just hate not writing anything up about my excellent three days of insanity (including pictures!), so I'm going to do my recap in a couple parts. And, oh yeah, backwards! Well, sort of backwards. I figure, why not start from halfway through and regale you with the first part second? If you were at BEA, and your brain was melted by all the wonderfulness like mine (still) is, I'm sure all this might make sense to you. If not, do accept my sincerest apologies for this lack of coherence.
Since the box is the source of my "problems" here and probably will be for some time, given the ridiculous amount of books contained therein, we'll start with me mailing it. At about 11 AM on the second day, I said to myself, "Self, this is getting out of hand. Nothing else will fit in this box of advance copy goodness for shipment." Shortly thereafter, self replied, "Self, I don't care. Let's just make one more pass through X and Y booth before we mail off the box. Otherwise you'll get more and have to fit them in the suitcase. Or maybe you might have to anyway, but whatever. How often does this kind of thing happen to you?" So after I made one more pass, I mailed off the box. Well, I unpacked it, and repacked it to make everything fit, and then mailed it. 44 lbs, $50, UPS. And that is all I will say about the box.
With the box mailed, I knew I had to have some willpower to withstand the call of the exhibit hall for another few hours until the Book Blogger Con reception and the show being over. Again I said to myself (yes, I talked to myself a lot in NYC, okay? You should all be glad that I went all in for my own hotel room. It got loud at times. Heh.), "Self, you and I both know that you have little to no willpower to speak of. The only way to keep you from picking up 10 more books is to stand in line for hours at a time to get only 3 books that you really really really want." So, this is what I did. I waited in lines for signed copies of Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution, Justin Cronin's The Passage, and Sara Gruen's Ape House. Later, with some skill, I actually did fit them all, plus two, into my suitcase.
See Exhibit A:
It may not look like willpower, but it is. And no, I don't know how those other two slipped in. I definitely don't know how that top one slipped in.
Having achieved this great feat, I hustled downstairs for the Book Blogger Convention Reception, where I paid for my book lust by having the (really cute) tote bag with the above pictured books yanking my shoulder off for about 2 full hours (not counting the part where I lugged it back to the Holiday Inn).
Oh wait, hold on. Exhibit B:
See, I told you it was really cute.
The reception was incredible. The large room was positively bursting with bloggers, book publicity people, publishing house people, you name it. We were all mingling in this room like nobody's business. It was an unbelievable reminder of how far book blogging has come and how many people whose lines of work involve getting books into the hands of readers have come to see bloggers as a real force for this purpose. It was at once incredibly exciting and a reminder, at least to me personally, that when it comes to book blogging, we might actually have a bigger weight on a shoulders than we realize in an age when periodicals are backing away from book reviews and promotion at an alarming rate. Even if you forget about ARCs and review copies and all the complicated trappings that sometimes come with those, we're becoming a greater percentage of the population actively keeping love and enthusiasm for books alive right now and in the future (just by being us and loving what we love!).
Anyhow, my preaching aside, I met a lot of fantastic and interesting people, of which, surprisingly few were actually book bloggers, though I do remember spending some time with a few lovely ladies of the book blogosphere: Carrie from Nomadreader, Nat from In Spring It Is the Dawn, and Sheila from Book Journey and a puppy come immediately to mind. Great conversations were had, and the time just flew by, which is saying a lot, because for introverts as I and a great many of us are, time spent mingling in a large group setting doesn't usually lend itself to time "flying by."
I wish I could say that I did something wildly exciting after that, but as it so happens, I was pretty beat, and I retired to my hotel room to eat some takeout, briefly check in on the rest of the book blogosphere, and attempt to reorganize my suitcase to accomodate the additional books...and of course, rejuvenate myself for Friday's Book Blogger Convention!
To be continued....
As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that it's getting awfully long. Now I'm thinking I shall take up three posts with this rambling of which this will be the first but actually the second under the incoherent guidelines mentioned at the beginning of this post. So this is the first post, but I'm calling it the second because if these were in any actual order, this would have been the second post. Get it? No? Okay, good.
Be on the lookout for Part 3 (which is actually the second post!) in the very near future.