Ever since the deluge of BEA-related posts took over blogs, Twitter, and Facebook last year I made the promise to myself that I would be able to attend this year, since it's right in my backyard. And so from June 4-7 I attended both the Blogger's Conference and Book Expo America.
It was one of the best weeks of my life.
This isn't because of the books, but because of the people. Everyone in that building shared such a depth of love for books that was so raw and beautiful that for the first couple hours of each day I could do little but grin stupidly and let my brain tell my feet what to do. Book bloggers, you are why I do this. Of course I have a blog about books because I love them, but it's the interactions that make everything worthwhile. The discussion, the excitement, the creativity - it's seriously unparalleled and I'm so incredibly grateful to be a part of it.
For everyone I met: thank you. And I cannot wait to see you next year and until then in comments and tweets and vlogs. For everyone that was there that I saw in passing: I wish I had more time to spend with you, and I hope to remedy this next year now that I know more of what to expect. To the authors who were so gracious in their signings and photos and heartfelt discussion to the publishers who were unfailingly kind despite the craziness of the days and everything in between.
You made BEA an unforgettable experience. And now, BEA in pictures:
My first view of anything BEA: registration. Thankfully I got this done on the morning of the blogger's conference so it wasn't mayhem the first official day of BEA.
The Autographing Area reminded me a bit of a horse race. It's...pretty clear as to why. For the most part it worked pretty well, except when some authors' lines were so long that they started intermingling with each other. Close quarters. :)
Little Brown's display for Laini Taylor! I had to stop and stare for a minute. The excitement for Days of Blood and Starlight was palpable. And the artwork is absolutely stunning enlarged and up close.
Booths: Penguin, DK, and Random House. The little station you see is the Young Adult signing booth where I was lucky enough to meet Ruta Sepetys! It was our first BEA and we chatted a little about being overwhelmed by everything. Ruta mentioned that she just saw John Green (as did I while in line) and that she couldn't believe that he was here, too. We had a bit of a moment. Absolutely sweet, and definitely worth meeting if she comes anywhere near you!
They had this ginormous mock-up of Reached in the lobby outside the exhibition floor and I walked by just in time to see Ally Condie posing inside it. Kat Zhang and Aimée Carter also linked to funny photos on Twitter from inside. I wanted to take one myself, but never seemed to have the time! But this photo was worth it. I can't wait to read Reached!
Meet... (a fraction of) the Apocalypsies! (And Aliya, hiding in the back. I see you!) They were all so nice and this was one of the best panels offered, for me, just to be able to casually mingle and chat. :)