As most of you know, BEA was held in Chicago May 11-14. I’ve only just mostly recovered — seriously, it’s amazing that so many introverts can get together in one place, socialize and work together for all these days. But it’s the love of books that brings us all together (and out of our little hermit-like caves).
However, when it’s all over, we are DONE. (I stood in a TSA line for over an hour at O’Hare to get home and my mom asked if I “made friends” with anyone in line (*shakes head* Oh, Mom. Just can’t stop Mom-ing). Hell, no. I stood and blankly stared, I was so wiped by Sunday.) Last weekend, I did nothing but nap and read and take the dogs for walks. Besides Twitter and talking to my dogs, I said three words to another person in those two glorious days (“Hi” and “Yes, please” to the checkout person at Publix, if you were wondering).
So, why should anyone even consider attending?
Because it’s a gigantic convention center filled with books and people who love books. Publishers, authors, publicists, bloggers, librarians, press, booksellers…and books. Pretty much heaven (and hell, for those on the introverted spectrum) for us book lovers who just want to spend two-and-a-half days talking (drooling over) books.
For me, as a blogger and teacher, the absolute best part of attending is getting to meet and hang out with the awesome people I’ve met online or interacted with via email including amazing blogger friends, authors and publishing people. *waves to friends* *wishes y’all were closer*
I don’t know if this is the same for you but my local friends aren’t into books like I’m into books. They (and this includes my family) look at me in askance when I talk books for more than a couple of minutes. My brother’s response when I told him about BEA was, “But, really. What do you do for three days?” Me: “Get lost in books. Talk books. Meet authors. Discuss books. Get more books to read and talk about.” Him: “No, really. What do you do?” Dude.
If you’re a reader, BookCon, which was held on Saturday, is one crazy book-soaked love fest. Granted, you’ll have to navigate massive crowds but book people are generally happy-go-lucky people who just want to swoon over their multiple book boyfriends and squee over upcoming releases and favorite stories (I say generally because some people lose their damn minds when their favorite author is in their presence. It’s pretty impressive to see authors treated this way. Does my heart good.). It’s not ridiculously expensive to attend (about the price of a concert ticket) and a true experience for book lovers.
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