Hello there everyone!
This was my first time going to Bookcon and I just wanted to share with you my thoughts and feelings about it. I have wanted to attend the past couple of years and it was definitely a last minute decision but one that I am glad that I made. I had not really made my final decision until the middle of last week, and by then all the great autographing session were taken but I really just wanted to soak it all in and see what it was like.
I went in with zero expectations of acquiring any ARCs or really getting anything special and I am sooo glad that I did, because I would have been VERY disappointed otherwise.
I live in Pennsylvania which is about an hour and a half from NYC, so my daughter, Alex and I caught a Bieber bus at 6:15 am on Sunday and headed in. We arrived at around 7:30 am and it was just a short 15 minute walk to the Javitz Center from the Port Authority.
We arrived at Javitz at around 8:00 am on the dot and the doors were already open, so no lines for us. SCORE! We checked in and got our badges and tried to decide what to do next. First, we went to wait in line for the show floor. THIS LINE WAS SOOOO LONG!! I was amazed at how long it was first thing in the morning! And, I think that if I really wanted to get any “free” books, this would be the place to stay….but…..we had something more important on the agenda that we wanted to do!
As we decided on our plan of attack, we really wanted to go to the Booksplosion Meet-N-Greet to meet Jesse The Reader, Christine from Polandbananasbooks and Kat from Katytastic. So, we hopped out of the long show floor line and headed to the panel area which was a great idea because there were only a few people lingering down there and we ended up in the front of the line! The time was now about 8:30 am and the meet n greet was not until 10:30, so we ended up sitting and chatting for a while but was soooo worth it!!! Kat, Jesse and Christine were sooo nice and friendly! Alex was really excited to meet Jesse, he is her favorite booktuber while I was over the moon to meet Christine! I love them all but Christine would have to be my favorite, she just has so much energy and every time I watch her videos, she makes me smile and I feel like getting up and jumping around!!! I do not care that I am in my 40’s, I heart these crazy kids:)
Once we left the meet n greet, we headed to the show floor which was INSANE to say the least! We wandered around for a bit and chatted with a few Indie authors. We tried to check out some of the publisher booths but they were very crowded and had very long lines that twisted and turned around the show floor. It was very hard to decipher what lines were for what. We really did not want to spend our very first Bookcon standing in lines so we decided to just wander around for a bit. I think that if we wanted to snag any kind of stuff, we would have had to wait in lines but that was not what we wanted to do for our first time. We wanted to just soak in the atmosphere and check it out a bit. We wandered for awhile, picked up a free MG/YA sampler from Candlewick Press (this was the only “book” that we had acquired the whole day) and got some buttons and a lot of bookmarks. I, personally love bookmarks and will snatch them up every chance I get.
There were two other things that we really wanted to do at Bookcon, one was Alex wanted to just get a glimpse of Rainbow Rowell. And the other was I wanted to go to the TOR Teen signing and snag an ARC of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s new book. We headed down to the main stage area to wait for Rainbow’s panel to begin. I honestly cannot remember what the panel was about but just that Alex…HAD TO SEE HER to make her day complete! Once Alex was able to snap a pic, we were on our way to eat some lunch at the food court. We both had chicken fingers and fries. Mine had some type of seasoning on them and I did not really care for them. Food was really expensive, but it would have been anywhere in NYC to be honest, so instead of leaving to find something, we just stayed and ate there.
While we were eating, we started to chat about what to do next. The JLA signing was not until 1:00 and they were only giving ARCs to the first 50 to purchase a book, which means the first 50 in line basically. When I stopped by the Macmillian booth and spoke to someone, she warned me that it was going to be really crazy. I asked Alex what she wanted to do and she basically left it up to me to decide. She said “Mom, do you think that you can score the book?” I said “no”, so she was just like, “then let’s leave.” I had REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to try for that book but after hearing horror stories about pushing and shoving for ARCs on the show floor, I decided that it wasn’t worth it. We wanted our first Bookcon experience to be pleasant and drama free so we tried to avoid anything that may cause drama. AND we had a great time! We did not really spend too much time there but we got the lay of the land and will be ready for next year!! We were able to cross another thing off our bucket list…we went to The Strand after leaving Javitz. If you are not aware, The Strand is a HUGE bookstore in NYC that is very popular, so what better time to go see it right?
All in all, we had a really good day. We spent the rest of the day wandering down 5th Ave and shopping until we caught our bus home at 6pm. Funny story on the bus, there were these two girls that had so many books and Alex was amazed and just had to ask them how they got so many. They were just like, “We waited in some lines but most of them were just sitting on the tables.” WHAT??? Alex and I completely missed that? I am not even sure where they would have been unless they were gone by the time we got there?
Our goal for next year is possibly Bookexpo and one day of Bookcon. We shall see if we can make it happen? We already decided that we would be willing to wait in lines for something we really wanted next year. We just didn’t want to do that for our first experience. Am I bummed that we didn’t really come home with anything special? At first, I think I was but now looking back I would have to say no. We had a great day spending time together, it won’t be long before summer is over and she will be off to college again. Would I recommend you go? ABSOLUTELY!! It was an amazing experience just to see all of these people of different race, religion and gender getting together to celebrate their most loved reads. I would suggest you try to get to a convention at least once!
Did you go to Bookcon? Tell us about your time there! I would love to chat with you!
Until next year….