BookCon 2014: A different Perspective

While I don’t wish to repeat what Taylor has already said, I must concur with her: BookCon was easily one of the best days ever.

However, it seems as though this particular best day still came with its down side. Let me start by saying that this event was amazing. It was the most fun I have had in ages. From the moment we walked into the main event hall, I was overcome by a rush as we raced off to the first signing we had on our list. At first, everything seemed to be running smoothly. Lines were forming, people were making sure to step out of each other’s way, and everyone was moving about with relative ease.

This, of course, did not last long–which brings me to my first fault of BookCon 2014. It became apparent that perhaps no one expected the turn out that they had–despite the fact that ticket sales should have been some sort of indication. Whatever the case may be, the organization was not befitting for the amount of people who turned up to participate in this amazing event. Lines became disorganized. Areas turned into a mob of people so thick that no one could get through. At one point, my two friends and my mother in her motorized wheelchair became swallowed up by a crowd so thick that BookCon employees had to dive into the crowd and pull my mother to safety.  

Image(A very small section of the line that was waiting to get inside BookCon.)

The BookCon area that had, at the start, quickly filled with the masses, soon became a room that made me feel as though every step was a complicated movement. I was constantly on guard to keep from stepping on someone, being stepped on, or making sure that my mother didn’t get rushed by the crowd in the rather small aisles where the booths were set up.

Unfortunately, the organization and layout weren’t my only issue. I can, and do, understand that perhaps because this was BookCon’s first official year, the amount of people that showed up was unexpected and perhaps it was too late in the game to really alter how things were run. What I forgive slightly less was the fact that a large portion of the staff was rather clueless on the ongoings of the event. It became clear that while anyone wearing a BookCon official t-shirt had more information than others, there were still a vast amount of workers that didn’t. My group and myself had to ask for directions several times to locate elevators or panel locations. There were some people who were giving out wrong information to people standing in line on several occasions. There was even one lady who changed her facts three times before she finally got the right information across on the fourth try. If those who are running the event and working the event cannot give out adequate information, how are those attending supposed to have a not only pleasurable, but easy time? I can assure you, getting lost for 20 minutes because three different people couldn’t point us in the proper direction was no picnic, nor was following someone’s instructions and ending up in the wrong spot only to be told to go all the way back. It was slightly infuriating.

That being said, I want to make it clear, once again, that I enjoyed BookCon immensely. I’ve tweeted about it. I’ve facebook’d about it. I’ve messaged anyone who will stand to listen to me (and a few who didn’t) and rambled about my experience there. The panels were amazing. Listening to the authors answer questions and explain their thought process or share their stories was a highlight of my life. Meeting authors that I’ve been reading for ages and authors that I absolutely love had me fangirling for hours. And, of course, discovering new authors who really made quite an impact allowed me to leave the event with a huge list of authors and books that I need to check out.

BookCon is definitely an event I recommend to all those who love reading. And I will, without a single doubt in my mind, be attending next year with more friends and family. So here’s to me resting my feet after a fantastic day I’ll remember for the rest of my life, making plans for the next year to come, and hoping that BookCon fixes its kinks and manages to top itself in the year to follow.  

Ann Marie

You know what the secret is? It’s so simple. We love books.”

BOOK CON 2014

Today was honestly one of the best days of my life.

Well first, let’s have a brief introduction. Hi, I’m Taylor. I’m twenty years old and studying biomedical engineering and pre-medicine biology. While I love what I do, my escape from it all has been reading. The following is a picture from book con today!

To the left is Ann. To the right is Teresa. And the pale one in the middle – well you guessed it, that’s me.

In January, Ann messaged me going “BOOK EXPO OF AMERICA… wanna go?’ I agreed half-heartedly, not knowing if I actually would be able to go. You know when you make plans with your friends and most the time they fall apart? I assumed that would end up happening… except it didn’t. Soon, Teresa was added to our mix, our tickets were bought, and this dream became a reality.

Honestly, BookCon was one of the best experiences of my life. As soon as we got there, I rushed into line to get a signature from A.G. Howard who wrote the Splintered series. She signed a beautiful poster of the cover for her third book, Ensnared. Right after, we rushed to Julie Kagawa to get a picture and signed epub of The Forever Song (which is one of my favorite books!).

My friends and I are very into YA novels in general.  As soon as we got through the initial signings we wanted, we quickly made a schedule.  We made a bit of a pit stop as we got signed ARCs from both Andrew Mayne and Joseph Berger on the fly. Next up on our list was Alexandra Bracken who is another one of my other favorite authors. She signed copies of Never Fade, and I made sure to act like a total idiot. Seriously, I told her I stalked her hardcore on twitter and instagram. After, I was mortified (but she favorited my tweet SO IT MADE IT ALL OKAY).

As soon as we finished there, we ran to get in line to get the ARC of Julie Kagawa’s new book, Talon. Even though we were over an hour early, the tickets had already been given out for the ARC. We were sad, but Julie saw us and came over – especially when she saw Ann’s mother in a wheelchair. She apologized for the lack of ARCs for us, but took more pictures with us and promised to follow us on twitter.

… AND SHE DID FOLLOW US ON TWITTER! ALL THREE OF US!

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After meeting Julie, Ann and I headed downstairs to the Holly Black/Cassie Clare/Maggie Stiefvater panel. We had actually already seen Holly Black and Cassandra Clare earlier that week because we went to the City of Heavenly Fire release party on Monday at the 92Y in New York City. However, we loved them so much (along with Maggie), we knew we had to make it to this panel. And gosh, we were glad we did. Holly and Cassie were super adorable in their matching outfits. Maggie was hysterical. Oh and come to find out… Maggie’s publisher is David Levithan. He was at Cassie’s panel on Monday too, so when I saw him being introduced as Maggie’s editor, I freaked. Ann didn’t think it was him… until she realized it too. I think she almost peed her pants over her excitement. You could tell he was unimpressed when she asked for a signature since he was there as an editor, but he was a great sport and signed her stuff anyways. The panel was literally the best… until we were in for the biggest treat. WE GOT ARCS OF THE IRON TRIALS BY CASSIE AND HOLLY AND SINNER BY MAGGIE! And since we were the last to leave, they let us take the extra ARCs. So we grabbed some for Teresa and some friends who couldn’t come to bookcon with us! I fangirled so hard, I am fairly certain they thought I was having a heart attack.

And while we were in the panel, Teresa headed off to meet Danielle Fishel from Boy Meets World. (Teresa and I both own all the DVDs of the series). She grabbed a signed bookmark for me too…. but this was definitely the best part of her trip.

(Seriously though, how cute is Danielle Fishel?!)

Our final panel was one I was really excited for. It consisted of Veronica Roth, Marie Lu (I love the Legend series so much!), Danielle Paige and Alaya Dawn Johnson. We got excerpts of the stories of Four from VRoth and then the panel started. The best part in my opinion was how educated VRoth was about everyone’s book (since she was hosting the panel). … oh and VRoth’s fashion… because DAMN girl. Homegirl looked awesome!

It was so refreshing that she had definitely done her research for all three of the ladies on the panel. At the end of the panel, we were about to leave until Teresa called our attention to a table. We thought it was just additional Four excerpts, until we realized… IT WAS AN ADVANCED SECTION OF MARIE LU’S NEW BOOK, The Young Elites. So of course, we grabbed a bunch of copies of those because we were last to leave the room once again.

After the last panel though, it was time to go home… good thing too.

This was seven tote bags, three backpacks, and four very tired ladies later.

At the end of the day, Teresa took a picture and inventoried all of her stuff. While there were minor differences between what we collected between Ann, Teresa and I, the majority of it was the same.

SWAG (from top to bottom, left to right): Tuttle Publishing Tote, The Periodic Table of Epic Reads poster, Grumpy Cat Mask, Beat This: A comprehensive step by step drum set method by Mike Shapiro, Grumpy Cat post card, Danielle Fishel card with a free excerpt of her new book (autographed), 2014 New Title Showcase, A Wonder Story: The Julian Chapter postcard, Dr. Suess Button, Ilona Andrews Burn for Me button, 2015 Harlequin Young Adult Catalog, Tuttle: Books to Span the East and West, Nightmares Eye Mask, Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, The Pious Ones by Joseph Berger (autographed, advance reader copy), Angel Killer: A Jessica Blackwood Novel by Andrew Mayne (autographed, advance reader copy), Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (autographed), Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater (advance reader copy), A.G. Howard Ensnared poster (autographed), The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (advance reader copy), Four by Veronica Roth (free sneak peak), The Young Elites by Marie Lu (exclusive sneak peek), One of Us by Tawni O’Dell (advanced reader copy), The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa (personalized ereader version with autographed picture of Julie and I together) and 2 bookmarks.

 

So all in all, one of the best days of our lives… BookCon was an AMAZING experience and can’t wait to go through it all again next year!!!

 

~TAYLOR~

 

 

Oh, and a few more pictures to warm your heart/make you laugh:

MUCH LOVE AND HAPPY READING

You know what the secret is? It’s so simple. We love books.”