Saturday, May 29, 2010

BEA Recap #1

BEA! (That's Book Expo America, by the way.)

I'm so glad I went - for the people, for the books, for the experience. And since I'm a little unwilling to admit that the whole crazy affair is already over, here's the first part of my BEA recap. And as I go through these recaps, you are going to notice that I was almost completely overwhelmed and hardly took any photographs worth posting. I will do better at the next event I attend. I promise.

I flew into NYC on Tuesday, May 25, and met Kelly of Stacked and Jen of NerdGirlBlogging at the airport*. We high-tailed it to our lovely hotel (the Wyndham Garden Hotel**) where Kim of Stacked was blithely napping (lucky girl). After a little refreshment and getting to know each other, we zipped off to the AAP/LJ Librarians' Dinner.

The Dinner was wonderful. First of all, free food in New York is nothing to scoff at. Second of all, there were great people there. The four of us ended up sitting with three New York librarians*** and a book club lady. Thirdly, they had five fabulous authors speaking: Cory Doctorow, Rachel Vincent, Jane Green****, Anne Fortier, and Ann Brashares. Fourthly, we got our first free books of the conference (copies of each of the speaking authors' latest books)*****!

And yes, the food was terrible. My favorite thing was how the "vegetarian" meal was literally the same thing as the regular meal but without any chicken on the plate. Oy. But there was wine! And cake! And it was free, so I am not going to complain!

Librarians, this dinner is definitely something to be aware of if you're planning on attending BEA. This year was (I believe) the fourth year they held it and I hope they continue! Something that struck me is how nearly all the authors shared stories of beloved libraries/librarians from when they were kids. Children's librarians, what we do is IMPORTANT. If done correctly, it'll be something kids remember when they're all grown up and writing books of their own. 

We made it an early evening on Tuesday since we were all freakin' exhausted and we planned to be up early the next morning for the opening of the BEA Exhibits...

Continue reading about my BEA shenanigans in the second installment!

*Can I just say: LaGuardia? Not my favorite. I will navigate O'Hare with the best of 'em, but please spare me LaGuardia...

** Our stay was fabulous! It's three blocks from Javits, a reasonable price (I believe it was $180/night, split between four of us), and very nice. I super recommend them!

*** We realized that at our table were librarians from NY, IA, TX, WI, and KY.  

**** Who Tweeted me after! I feel so special!!
***** It was the *squee* heard 'round the world. :)