Book Reviews

Book Expo America 2011 Part 2: Wednesday-Friday

On top of the Empire State Building

Part 1: Sunday-Tuesday
Wednesday was a big day for me. After finding out about all the stuff I had missed on Tuesday because I hadn’t prepped enough, I went all out and wrote up a list of things I wanted to go to and events happening throughout the day. That list was great for two reasons: 1) I didn’t feel like I was missing fun things and 2) it kept me busy for the whole day, so I wasn’t wandering around like a lost sheep or something.
On the other hand, it meant I felt like I had less time to really check out the publishers’ booths, but…eh, I’ll just work on having more balance next time.
Anyway, I’m not sure if I should talk about ALL the author signings I went to, because that’s kinda boring and it’d be really long as well (plus I’m going to write more in depth about them in another post, I think). But some of the highlights were: mistakingly asking the author if their own book was any good (oh god! Luckily she was super nice and, I think, doesn’t hold it against me. She wrote me a really nice thingy in my book as well); learning more about copyediting from a freelance copyeditor while in the line for Bill Willingham’s new book; getting to talk about my nerdish love of all things American Girl with fellow fans; complaining about tofu with Roz Chast; meeting more really nice bloggers!
Part of The List. Next time I'll just bring a notebook

In the afternoon me and a bunch of other bloggers went to sit in the Book Reviews Online panel. I was hoping they’d say something about book bloggers, or even just amateur book reviews but really all they did was say how nice it was to publish reviews online because it was cheaper and less constrained by the requirements of print (all true). But it was really focused on Western publications that had established a book reviews section online, and that narrow focus really made the panel boring. Plus, none of them had any idea of what the future of online book reviews held, except that maybe there’ll be something with self-published books.
Basically they just said things that everyone who even spends an hour online would know, and nothing new or interesting showed up anywhere in the panel. Disappointing.
After that I dumped off my books at the hostel and then went over to the Empire State Building again to meet Memory and her friend Jennifer (who was really nice!). It was sunny and clear and we could actually see stuff! Memory shared her audio tour, which was kind of cheesy (and weird– the narrator is a “cab driver” called Tony who talks a lot about his fake history in New York) but still had a lot of good info about what we were looking at. If you don’t mind cheese I’d definitely recommend getting the audio tour if you can.
To the Javits

I woke up really early, like around 6. I didn’t want to hang around the hostel for too long so I soon left to take some pictures of the route to Javits. While there I got bored sitting by myself so I went to sit in the line into the exhibition hall. I know! I actually lined up to get in! But it was nice because then Ash found me and we talked about stuff for a bit.
Thursday was once again full of signings, although really only in the morning because the convention ended at 3. 🙁 Nevertheless, good things happened: I met a really nice lady who told me about a book club in Albuquerque I hadn’t heard of before, I met a publisher located kinda near me who does books I think I’d love, I met a couple of really nice bloggers who held my place for me in line while I went to quickly grab another book, and I got to talk to someone at Bloomsbury about The Goose Girl and how much I loved it.
For lunch me, Kim, Ash, Heather, Megan, Memory, Rebecca and Theresa went to eat lunch with Jenny! HI JENNY HI. If I wasn’t more enthusiastic in person it was because I was screaming that silently in my head. So.
After lunch was the Book Blogger Reception, where I met more nice bloggers and someone from Tor! who I had been trying to track down for like two days. It was a lot of fun but eventually I got tired of small talk and wanted to leave, so after a trip to the post office with some fellow bloggers to check out mailing options, I went back to the hostel, dumped off my books, and then went to check out Macy’s.
I mostly went there because I wanted to see the wooden escalators (the only original wooden escalators still running) and because my mom wanted me to go shopping for her. I didn’t find the stuff Mom wanted but I did find the escalators: check out my shaky cam video here of going down a set:

Besides the escalators it was basically a big giant boring department store. I don’t know what I expected– something more magical, I guess? I mean, it’s the size of a BLOCK! It should be full of cool stuff! But it wasn’t. It’s got a post office and a freakin’ McDonalds inside of it (and a Starbucks), but it was still boring. Maybe I’ll just have to go when they’ve got decorations up or something.
Back at the hostel I packed up my books into a box I had bought from the post office (where, btw, one of the postal workers wasn’t sure whether New Mexico was in the US or not). omg it was so. heavy. I couldn’t lift it! I had to put some more books in my suitcase/carry-on and finally it was just about bearable to lift up. Luckily our hostel wasn’t too far from the p,o,
This was the day I left NYC. Sad!
I managed to get my box of books to the post office, although it was difficult and I nearly lost it down the stairs a few times. It was worth it, though, because to ship about 30 books Media Mail rate came to less than $20 (including shipping materials), which I think is a deal. It won’t get here until this Friday, though, which is driving me insane!
Me on the train to Newark

Anyway, eventually I left about two hours earlier than I had meant to– I’m not good at waiting when I have to be somewhere at a specific time– which turned out to be lucky because I got lost a few times in Penn Station. Eventually, however, I made it to the airport and then I made it home (after a few plane delays) and I ended up reading three books.

The next post will be about the books I got and the authors and bloggers I met. Then I think the one after that will be about “what to do for BEA 2012” and…I think that’s it! BEA 2011 is over and soon this series of posts will be, too.


    • Anastasia

      I do! I got about forty books at BEA– I’ve already read four and enjoyed them all.
      I’m sorry I missed you at BEA, btw! I didn’t know you were going for some reason. 🙁

  • Heather J.

    It was great to meet you – Thursday lunch was quite a lot of fun in spite of the long walk. 🙂
    I was able to track down the people from Tor as well (yay!) and ended up going for drinks with them after the BBC Reception. It was great!

  • Teresa

    I was glad I found you guys at the panel. As you know, I feel the same as you do about the panel itself, but it was great to meet you and hang out over lunch.
    And those wooden escalators at Macy’s freak me out just a little bit. I can’t explain it, but I never feel confident about when to step off them!

    • Anastasia

      I’m scared of them too, actually! I like them for their historical value, but getting on/off is quite tricky. Plus the little slats on the stairs hurt.

  • Jenny

    HI ANASTASIA HI. I told my mumsy about how nice you were and how I offered to help you find jobs so that secretly I could lure you to New York to get drinks with me when I have had a stressful day at work.

    • Anastasia

      Haha, and I totally would (/will?) do that, too! And I would also bring you a slightly fancy sandwich if you didn’t want to cook dinner.
      What? No, I’m not bribing you with food. What a ridiculous idea. (I also have BOOKS I could give you. And ribbons!)

  • softdrink

    A Starbucks in a post office?? That would certainly make running errands less of a chore. 😀
    BEA sounds like so much fun…I’m sad I didn’t go…I miss hanging out with fellow bloggers!

    • Anastasia

      Sorry, I meant the Starbucks/post office was inside the Macy’s. 😀
      I wish you could have gone, too! Maybe next year?

  • heidenkind

    Yeah, I went into Macy’s too while I was there, and I went to Harold’s (is that what it’s called? I don’t even remember) in London. Basically just giant dept stores. Yawnz. Although the toy department at Harold’s was really fun.

    • Anastasia

      Harrod’s, I think? And yeah, these sorts of things always seem more exciting when you hear about them, but when you go it’s just boring. Blah.

  • Rebecca Reid

    It was so great to meet you! I think I’d do things differently next time myself, if there is a next time. Sounds like you figured it out, though. What a blast. Next time stay for the Book Blogger Con!!! If i’m there at least.

    • Anastasia

      I think I will go to BBC next time, but…only if the panels are less than two hours! That seems way too long to keep me interested the whole time.

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