Thursday, January 13, 2011

ALA Recap: Books, Books, and More Books

After my Thursday and Friday Emerging Leader events, my committee obligations for the weekend were over and I was free to do as I pleased for the rest of the Midwinter meeting.  You know what that means?  Multiple trips to the exhibit halls and publisher previews (in addition to some very fun session-y type stuff, which will be in my next post...).

Waiting for exhibits to open Friday night
Friday night, I hit up the exhibits with several other wonderful bloggers and we became whirling dervish-type book collecting machines.  Truly, the exhibits were a little crazy Friday night.  It's awesome to be there with so many people passionate about books. 

And for the first time at a conference, I felt comfortable talking to publishers, asking what their favorites are, sharing my blog, etc.  I have to credit Michelle of Galleysmith for that!  I witnessed her talking to publishers at BEA and I definitely channeled her this weekend. :) 

Lesson learned: publicists and editors are people, too!  They like to talk to you, gush about books, and get the word out.  Everyone was super nice and I got a ton of books (my favorite-favorites will be featured on Sunday!).  I was grabbing stuff for myself, for our kids and teens, and for our adult services department.  

This is what a booth looks like!
We visited the exhibits several times over the course of the weekend, which is nice to be able to do because they put out different books at different times. 

In addition to the exhibits, I also attended several publisher previews!  Saturday morning, I went to the HarperCollins Book Buzz (which was actually in a meeting room, not in their exhibits booth).  A panel of Harper people talked about some of the books on their adult list for the spring.  Even though I don't review adult books on my blog, I knew my librarians back home would appreciate knowing about the books coming out!  All the Harper people were extremely friendly and personable and I highly recommend attending the book buzz if you can make it.  They wanted everyone's input on their titles and even gave out their email addresses so we could contact them with our thoughts. 

S&S Preview Lunch
From there, I went straight to Simon & Schuster's preview lunch, which I was lucky enough to be invited to.  Not only was it a great spread of food, but it was a great opportunity to hear editors share some of their favorite titles AND Lisa McMann was there!!  Kelly's already done a great recap post about the lunch, so I'll point you to STACKED for that.  I'll just say that two of the books that they got me super pumped about were Blood Red Road by Moira Young and This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel.  Keep your eyes peeled for those, folks!

Delicious treats at the Disney/Hyperion preview!
Saturday afternoon, I attended a preview from Disney/Hyperion.  Not only did they have some seriously delicious food, but they took a slightly different take on the typical preview.  Instead of booktalking each book to us, they let the titles speak for themselves and read to us from each book.  It was a great way to get a sense of the voice and style of the book.  Honestly, one book that they showcased - Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith - I had skipped over in the booth, but I was laughing out loud as they read from it, so I had to track it down.  I also spotted Betsy Diamant-Cohen at this session, so I had to go over and gush about how much we love Mother Goose on the Loose at my library.  Thanks, Betsy!!

On Sunday, I attended the Random House Children's Books preview and I am so glad I did because they had goody bags with COPIES OF SQUISH: SUPER AMOEBA, the newest graphic novel venture from Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.  I read it in the hotel room and a review's coming.  It's very cute, just like Babymouse for boys (and it's a little bit gross, too, which is nice). They talked about many great books and I'm going to point you to Kelly's recap at The Cazzy Files for more on the preview. 

A book-filled weekend is a wonderful thing for a librarian and this was a great one!  Tune in on Sunday for a special "In My Mailbox" (called "In My Suitcase") for a look at the books I picked up that were too precious even to mail, so I jammed them into my carryon luggage.  And I have one more ALA recap coming.  Tune in tomorrow for a post about the BFYA teen input session, YMAs, and Morris/Nonfiction Award reception!