Saturday, June 12, 2010

Long Overdue BEA Wrap-up!

Once again, I am way behind! Had a family emergency that has occupied all of my time since returning from BEA. Things are going better now, for which I am profoundly grateful! Anyway, I was in New York from May 24 thru the 29th for Book Expo America. Last year was so much fun, I didn't think it could be more fun or exciting this year, but it was! There were so many bloggers there, old friends and new, and it was exciting to see everyone. Plus, on Friday I attended the first ever Book Blogger Convention! Michelle, Trish, Natasha, Nicole, Amy, Rebecca and everyone involved in the organization of it did a fantastic job. It was interesting, educational and the keynote speaker, author Maureen Johnson, was an inspired choice. She was hilarious and so much fun to listen to! I don't buy very many books but she completely won me over, I'll be going out to buy all of hers!

Show Floor

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The first exhibit day was Wednesday, it was crazy! So many people everywhere...not to mention the books! I had more than I could carry within the first hour. Time to start being more selective! It is very hard to limit yourself when fantastic books are being thrust at you from every direction. I admit, BEA is heaven for someone like me. Nothing but books, authors, book publicists, book publishers, book lovers, book bloggers....very fun and exciting. So, Wednesday was great. But it was Thursday that was fantastic!

Me and Clinton Kelly

You'll think I'm very silly, but I was so excited to meet Clinton Kelly from TLC's show What Not to Wear. I love the show, have been watching it for ages and learning from it! (I put a LOT of thought into what I would wear on Thursday!) He was signing at 10am and I got in line early. He was so nice! Even complimented me on my outfit (whew!) know I couldn't meet him and have him thinking "Wow, YOU need to be on my show..."!! What is a fashion guru doing at BEA? He has a book coming out, not until October, called Oh No She Didn't. We didn't actually get the book, it was a little preview pamphlet which he signed for me.

As you walk down the aisles at BEA one of the things that you notice immediately is the lines that form around the booths. There is a separate autographing area where authors sign at scheduled times, but many publisher booths have authors signing, too. So, as you walk by a line you get curious and lean in to ask who everyone is waiting to see. This happens over and over again during the course of BEA (at least for me, I'm always curious to know who is causing all the excitement at the moment). Now, I make up a schedule before I go of who I want to see, so I usually don't stop. But early afternoon on Thursday I walked by a line that had just started to form...only about 15 people in it. When I asked who it is for I was told Kathryn Stockett would be signing copies of her bestseller, The Help ! This was completely unannounced, probably for crowd control reasons, but I was thrilled. The Help has been out well over a year and is still at the top of bestseller lists (#11 right now on Amazon). And I had yet to get a copy, let alone a signed one. And then I got to meet the author, too! I tried to get a picture but the one I manged to take was horribly many people jostling around to get a second shot.

Me and Tim Gunn

At 1 pm Thursday, Tim Gunn (he has had a long career in the fashion world but is best known for Project Runway) was scheduled to sign his new book Gunn's Golden Rules, which will be out in September. I got in line at noon because I knew that the line would get incredibly long. The signing started exactly on time but the line moved extremely slowly. Tim is so friendly and nice, he chatted with each person, called them by name, asked about them, taking 2-3 minutes for each of us. Which translated to a long wait in line that was completely worth it! What a gracious man. I was probably about 40th in line and it was a bit after two when I finally got to meet him (the goofy picture of me is above). He was only scheduled to sign for ONE HOUR, from 1-2. After I saw him there were still hundreds of people in line behind me. When I left the room at 4:15 pm he was still there, looking like he had just stepped out there, smiling and generous with each and every person. He stood there for as long as it took to see everyone who wanted to meet him. I was very impressed.

A night out with Caitlin and the crew from Unbridled Books was a perfect way to end a perfect day! We all had a great time at Hudson Bar & Books, an appropriate spot for us!

After Friday's Book Blogger Convention we decided dinner was in order. Allie (Hist-Fic Chick) and Nicole (Linus' Blanket), our resident New Yorkers, led the way to Dos Caminos where we had twenty something bloggers all together for some great mexican food and, of course, margaritas. I wish I had time to chat with everyone but the conversation was non-stop. It was a great evening. The bill was well over $1,000! So much fun, a perfect end to a perfect trip!

Jen (Devourer of Books), Allie (Hist-Fic Chick) and Me

And there you have it, a fantastic BEA! Can't wait for next year! (Thanks for sharing the above photo, Allie!)


bermudaonion said...

I go through withdrawal after I live BEA because I just love being with all the bookish people. It was great seeing you and Mark again even if it was just for a little while!

Lenore Appelhans said...

You did have the cutest outfits!!

Unknown said...

I would have loved to meet Tim Gunn. I got to meet Nigel Barker at BEA which was cool.

The Tome Traveller said...

Kathy--it was great to see you too! I wish we had more time to chat. Seemed to see some people over and over, others hardly at all. I wish we could all get together more than once a year!

Lenore--thank you! It was so fun to get to know each other at dinner! Hope you had a wonderful birthday and a great trip! Are you home now?

dolleygurl--can't believe I missed Nigel Barker...but it is absolutely impossible to see everyone!

Teddy Rose said...

It looks like you had an awesome time! I am planning to attend next year and would love to meet you f2f!

Beth F said...

I love BEA -- and loved getting a chance to see you again. It was so much fun to bump into you while you were standing in lines! I missed Kathryn Stockett because I was a meeting out of the Javits. Sob. But I loved the Unbridled crew -- everyone was so wonderful.

The Tome Traveller said...

Teddy--do come if you can, you will love it! Look forward to meeting you, too!

Beth-I wish we had more time to chat! It seems to always be that way at BEA...all of us running in different directions!

Unknown said...

I loved this post! I'm a fan of "What Not to Wear" so I completely understand that you're a Clinton Kelly fan! Great outfit, too. It sounds like you really had a great time! I am so sorry I couldn't make it at all, especially since I am a Brooklyn resident. But I'm going to be there next year no mater what! lol It's fantastic that you stumbled upon Kathryn Stockett's table and got a signed copy of The Help! (Among many other wonderful books!)

Happy reading!
~ Amy

Zibilee said...

It sounds as though you had an amazing time and got to meet and hang out with lots of cool people. I am hoping to make my first trip to BEA next year and maybe I will see you there!!

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great time. It's too bad we didn't run into each other there.


Terri said...

Thanks so much for sharing photos! It's nice to see what you all look like. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi--I spoke (very briefly!) at the Book Bloggers Convention at BEA in NYC on May 28th. I'm a blogger from Nashville, TN. We're still reeling down here from the recent flooding. I'm issuing a challenge to book bloggers and their readers: please send books to Nashville! I've blogged about the project, A Dry Read, on my site:

Please visit, read, and start sending books (and your readers' books and attention!) our way. I'd really appreciate it!

Thanks so much--
Becky Brothers
Reader With a Capital "R"

Thoughts from an Evil Overlord

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.