On June 1st I attended the long-anticipated BEA--Book Expo America at Javits Center, New York City with my friend Julia. What can I say, the whole experience was just amazing,
worthy of a minute-by-minute breakdown blog post, and today I'm going to try my best to describe the highlights.
I booked a hotel near Javits Center, and Julia came to sleep over the night before. The next morning we got up super early (aka 6:30 am) so we could get to BEA before 8! We thought we were fairly early, but as soon as we walked into the main hall, we were shocked by how! many! people! were! already! there!!! Seriously, the place was crawling with people.
|Julia & I, bright and early in the morning from Javits Center|
After we got over our oh-my-god-what-is-going-on panic, we got ourselves registered (we bought tickets online, so we didn't have to stand in the walk-in line, which was an interesting length, let me just say). We got our own Power Reader badges with green lanyards and our names printed across, as well as a bag of free books! The bag was so heavy we had to get them checked at baggage check area (where there were people checking whole suitcases of books!).
When we're done with that we went into the main events hall for author breakfast. We had to pay extra for this, but it's always great to hear Chris Matthews talk about stuff. The author speakers of that day were the very Helen Fielding who wrote Bridget Jones, and two others (John Lewis and Diana Gabaldon) that I unfortunately don't know as much about. On a side note, the breakfast was deleeeeeecious! I had a blueberry muffin, a scone, and an everything bagel with yummy cream cheese!
Following breakfast, we went through the main entrance, where free totes were given, to pick up more free books! When we were in line, we heard the Sarah Dessen would be signing at 10:00 that day, and tickets would be given out at the Power Reader lounge. Oh my, I was so excited that I literally sprinted to the lounge as soon as we got into the main exhibition hall.
Poor Julia, she's a swimmer, not a runner...
And and and, thank God that I ran, because we got two of the last few tickets! Phewwww. If only I came a few minutes later, I would've had to go home without meeting Sarah Dessen, who honestly wrote all of my favorite books in 9th and 10th grade.
In the morning, we just walked from booth to booth, collecting cool gadgets and books, meeting with book lovers like us, etc. The venue was divided up into sections mostly according to publishers; big publishers had overhead hanging signs that were easy to spot. At the Scholastics area, they were handing out free copies of the Hunger Games!!! And this children's book booth that we passed by were handing out helium balloon pets that were the cutest things ever! Look, you can actually walk it :)
|ignore my random face :p|
At 10:00 we got our signatures from Sarah Dessen, on her new book The Moon And More. She was really nice, she had on a cute white dress that I so wanted to ask where she bought :P Here's a (slightly blurry) pic of her signing my book (she personalized it too! it says, "To Vanessa"):
|check out my dog too :P|
Then I got an autograph from Elizabeth Norris, the author of Unraveling. She was very friendly, we talked for a little bit. And guess what--we have twin dogs!!
All day we wandered around like this, picking up awesome stuff and talking to authors and fellow readers. It was a great experience because I've never known that you could be such a cool
nerd reader! There are simply so many people who share the love of reading that it surprises as much as delights me.
To end the perfect day and this blog post, here's a selfie of Julia and I in a cute cafe in Korea town. We had an awesome ice bowl with green tea ice cream, red beans, and lots of yummy fruits!