Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BEA 2011 Day 1

Greetings one and all, I am freshly returned from BEA, Book Blogger Con, and Boston and am ready to regale you with tales of books and bookish adventures. Unfortunately, immediately upon my return from my city adventures, I fell ill with a headcold, but hopefully this post will not reflect my foggy state of mind.

My trip got off to an inauspicious start when I drove my car to the train station in New Jersey (where I would be returning via Amtrak) and found the rather large parking garage to be completely full. After an hour long rigamarole that involved my driving around the garage at length anyway, being directed to an outer surface lot that was also full, and finally being parked on the grid lines in the best spot in the garage, I ascended the train platform to wait for an NJ transit train to deliver me to the city nearly an hour after I had intended to depart. While loitering on the platform, I got a call from my hotel roomie, Heather, informing me that my other hotel roomie, Amanda wouldn't be coming after all. Let's just say, by the time I got on the train I was sorely in need of some bookish cheering up.

Some hour later I arrived at Heather and I's compact Best Western hotel room, dropped off my bags, and hustled off to the Javits past carriage horses, and a collision repair center for taxicabs on one side and the vehicles of the masses on the other. I'm pretty sure there was a gentlemen's club nestled between the damaged automobiles, too. The street definitely had character, but at a half a block from the convention center, it beat all for convenience and value.

So onto the show floor I went, at which point a lunch time lull had descended allowing me to wander the floor and get my bearings and worry about where in the heck all the books were simultaneously. I made the mistake of wandering too close to the L. Ron Hubbard booth and its representative became the official first person I talked to. Somewhere around that time I finally happened on a book I was dying to have. I'd been looking forward to Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding ever since I heard it was being buzzed at BEA. When I saw the author signing I stumbled into a very short line and walked away with this book in my hand.

Shortly thereafter I happened upon Diana Abu-Jaber's signing of her buzz book, Birds of Paradise, which I eagerly got in line for. Somehow, and surprisingly unawkwardly (I am usually very talented at being awkward) the subject of my blog came up, and I bestowed upon her my very first business card of the show. This was so unexpected that I hadn't even remembered to put cards in the back of my ID badge, so the formerly missing awkwardness ensued as I attempted to dig a card out of my bag.

Enough of this longwindedness, though. People at booths were talked to, a reasonable amount of books were acquired. I attended the standing room only YA Editors Buzz where I heard all about a bunch of really great sounding YA titles only one of which I actually acquired over the course of the show. How'd that happen? With the Adult Editors Buzz titles it seemed I couldn't turn a corner without tripping over a pile of them for the taking. I managed to grab a copy of Laini Turner's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but am looking forward to acquiring the others by other means when the time comes, after hearing them so glowingly presented.

A few books later, I started a shipping box at the Javits and headed back to the hotel to meet up with Heather. We ate a delicious and expansive dinner at a diner with an immense menu and got to know each other before we met up with Reagan to attempt a subway trip to the very packed Bookrageous Bash. Despite our inexperience with the NYC subway, we made it there (and back!) in one piece without getting lost even once. We were rewarded with drinks and shouted conversations with newly met bloggers which was good times but kind of really hot and crowded and uber-loud. Nonetheless, what conversation I did manage to have with Reagan, Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness, Cass from Bonjour, Cass!, and others was fun!

And then there was sleeping, and then there was morning, the second day....

In the interests of keeping this short-ish, I think perhaps it is wise to divide this recap into days. Look for more in the near future!


  1. Glad to hear that you're home and feeling better! I'm looking forward to the rest of your recaps.

  2. BEA is so much fun, but totally exhausting! I left the YA Editor's Buzz early because I was sitting on the floor in the back and I couldn't hear, but I did manage to get a couple of the books on the show floor.

  3. Looking forward to hearing more! I'm sort of living vicariously through all you guys. :D

  4. I came over from Natalie's blog, i'm a new follower, I enjoyed checking out your LibraryThing account also.

    I'm Marce from Tea Time with Marce

    I'm really considering next year, wow.

  5. Sounds like you had a rocky start but a fun day 1.

  6. Heather - Wish I could say it was good to be home, but I'm kind of already ready to go on vacation again.... ;-)

    Kathy - I was standing in the crowd at the back of YA Ed. Buzz, too. Can't believe I didn't see you there!

    Amanda - Glad we can give you some vicarious BEA-ing at least. I've got plenty more to come. =)

    Marce - Thanks for stopping by and for the follow. I'll be paying you a visit soon! =)

    Diane - Definitely a tough start. I'm so glad things got much much better! =)