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The rest of #BEA2014 and BookCon

June 1, 2014

Books happened to me on Friday. A few more books happened to me on Saturday. Pro Tip: If you are concerned about your bookshelf space, do not go to the “Speed Dating” book event at the Book Expo. Despite the fact that I haven’t read all the books from my last Book Expo, I did, in fact, go to the Speed Dating book event. There’s such a lovely thrill about walking into a room full of tables piled with stacks upon stacks of interesting books, and then hearing from enthusiastic people about the stories inside of them.

I get giddy about galleys at Book Expo. All these enthusiastic authors and book lovers, handing me books to take home and read. Yes, I have an e-reader, and have heard about titles available for download. Every year, I tell myself, I’m going to be very discerning, and not take home all the books. But there’s something about a nice heavy tote bag full of books, or reading the back of a title I’ve never seen before, seeing the colors of the cover another attendee is reading. Especially at the Speed Dating event, or when books are piled by publishers’ booths, it reminds me of some kind of lovely dragon’s hoard. I want to take books home and build forts with them. I don’t even know. Possibly also read them. Because I think of all the titles I heard about in past years that sounded good, and then they were great, or books that I wasn’t sure about that turned out to be fantastic.

While I did get to hang out in the Librarian’s Lounge on Friday and Saturday, I do not think I spent nearly enough time there. One of these years, I need to go to an ALA meeting, like the Book Expo only with more librarians from public and school libraries, and more librarian panels like the Shout and Share or the Book Buzz. Just talking to, and hanging out with librarians makes me happy. In particular, Book Expo is always best with Hillary and Rayna, because we have a sense of each other’s reading likes and dislikes, and we make a good team: Hillary’s good at navigating and finding treats, I’m good at starting conversations with strangers, Rayna can absolutely kill me with a clever comment, and off we go.

Book Con on Saturday was a little bit perplexing. It was more crowded than the other days, and I had some trouble figuring out the geography of what was and was not BookCon, and what was happening where and when. Part of that could have been remedied by reading the schedule further in advance. Part of that was because the crowds were a bit hard to navigate.  There were a few moments where I heard scream-cheer fan jubilation and I couldn’t tell where it was coming from enough to figure out what they were cheering. Fear of Missing Out definitely became a factor- and then suddenly it was over at 3 PM, a bit like unwrapping the last present.

But I have lots and lots of books. And I”m not taking summer classes, so I have, at least in theory, time to read and catch up on reviewing. In theory.

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