When I first started book blogging, I salivated over people’s stories of BEA — how cool it was to meet all the authors, talk to the publishers, and, of course, get books. In 2013, I was lucky enough to be a grad student and was able to take some time off studying to visit New York for a few days, and I went with my mom and godmother, who also blogged with me. It was exhausting, but everything I ever wanted it to be.
I know some people were upset at BEA being in Chicago this year, but it was a dream come true for me, because my fiancé is a high school English teacher, and I’ve told him of the wonders of BEA, and I just knew that he’d love it. To have it take place just a 10-minute drive away was too good to pass up, so we both took Thursday off (just Thursday, unfortunately) to talk to people and grab some books.
Our plan was basically for me to use the copies I got for us to read and review on the blog, and for the copies he got (of appropriate books) to be donated to his classroom library for students to read. We didn’t bring a rolling suitcase and we both got way more books than we expected (is it just me, or is it a really solid upcoming year for YA?!), so we were pretty tired by 2:30, what with walking around and carrying dozens of pounds of books along with us. Once we did our “musts” we headed out, happy with the day.
Andrew: My students aren’t at all interested in reading, but I brought back all of what I got for my classroom and I loaned at 13 books on Friday, because they’re so excited to read these brand new books that not everyone has access to. I told them they had to, at the very least, tell me what they think of them after finishing, and also am giving them extra credit for posting book reviews. They were just excited to read books and be able to give their opinions on these stories, which made taking the day off actually worthwhile and productive.
These guys were really awesome, so I want to give a shout out to Neoglyphic, who’s creating this multimedia story — Sunborn Rising by Aaron Safronoff. Along with a novel, they’re also creating a gaming app and virtual reality game to help students find a way in to the story, which is just the best.Check out their website and what they’re doing all right here.
We’re hoping that maybe we’ll be able to take the whole time off (or Thursday and Friday, at least) for next year and make the trip to New York to experience it again. We had so much fun and really enjoyed being able to connect to people over what we love. Next time, we’ll make sure to bring a rolling suitcase, though!