The highlights of last year's BEA for me included:
- meeting fellow book bloggers. It was truly amazing to me how their blogs are such an extension of who they are in person. I easily recognized each and every blogger - and their personality is just as warm and genuine in person as it is on the page.
- being a part of the Netgalley booth to answer any questions about book blogging
- attending autograph sessions --- which included Novel Destinations by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon, The Physick of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe, and Zig-Zagging: Loving Madly, Losing Badly, How Ziggy Changed My Life by Tom Wilson (he hand drew a Ziggy cartoon in each book he autographed!).
- collecting countless free books and ARCs of every genre imaginable (unfortunately I did not accurately calculate the shipping charges for all those "free" books)
- attending the break out session about book bloggers and watching the panel of my peers do such an awesome job representing us to the trade.
I would not give up that experience for the world - and I am very grateful to have had that opportunity. But I must say....I am looking forward to this Armchair BEA event just as much. I tend to communicate better in a writing format rather than an in-person situation (I do not think well on my feet and I tend to be shy and tongue-tied), so I expect to have great fun visiting all your blog sites and learning bookish things from the comfort of my own home.
I did create a "virtual" BEA schedule, though, that I am more than happy to share with you. I managed to glean most of this information off the BEA website, but also from Jen's wonderful post.
On Wednesday I would arrive at the convention around 8:30 and register early as I would like to attend a couple of morning autograph signings:Thursday's Schedule would look something like this:
- 9:30 - 10:30 --- Barry Brunonia will be signing her newest book, The Map of True Places (I just loved the Lace Reader and look forward to reading this newest book)
- 10:00 - 11:00 --- Louis Gosset Jr., will be signing his newest book, An Actor and a Gentleman (I love him as an actor and a food connoisseur. His roles in An Officer and a Gentleman and The Shawshank Redemption are stellar)
- 11:00 - 12:00 ---- Nancy Pearl will be signing a galley of Book Lust to Go
- I am sure I would be ready for a hot pretzel and coke from a local street vendor by this time. I would hope that I could meet up with some of the same gang as last year: Kathy, Candace, Amy, Julie, Dawn, and Stephanie. I would also hope to see Nicole and Lenore again. And I would love if Wendy and Carey could join us so that I could finally meet them in person!
- 1:00 - 3:00 -- I would spend the time perusing the floor. I would look at all the new releases being advertised for fall, and pick up a few brochures of selected publishing houses (I particularly enjoy Sourcebooks, Hachette, Penguin Classics, Harper Collins, Random House Algonquin, and Chronicle Books). I imagine that there would be one or two book giveaways that I could not resist.
- 3:00 - 4:00 --- attend the champagne toast for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Harper Lee's classic, To Kill a Mockingbird (I teach this book and look forward to re-reading it every year with my 9th grade class).
- Since this is a fairly early day - I would spend the rest of the afternoon browsing the wonderful bookstores of NYC. Most notably I would want to revisit one of my old favorites, Kitchen Arts and Letters on the Upper East Side, Partners and Crime in the Village, and the quintessential.....Strand Bookstore.
- At this point I would probably be dog tired and would like nothing more than a slice or two of great New York Pizza, perhaps a glass of chianti, and call it a night.
- arrive around 9:30 or 10:00 and read Publisher's Weekly morning edition
- 11:30 - 12:30 --- Laurie Halse Anderson will be signing copies of Forge (I absolutely loved Speak and am anxiously waiting to read Wintergirls. I know that my own teenage daughter would love an autographed copy of one of this talented author's works).
- 1:00 - 2:00 --- Rick Sammon will be signing copies of Confessions of a Compact Camera Shooter (for those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you know that I am developing a newfound passion for photography and I have borrowed several books from the library by this talented author and photographer)
- Lunch would be in order right about now....
- 3:00 - 4:00 --- do a final tour of the floor before calling it a day.
- 4:00 - 7:00 --- visit the New York Public Library (the Ottendorfer Library on 2nd Avenue) where Melissa Sue Anderson will be giving a talk and then signing copies of her newest book, The Way I See It (I loved watching Little House on the Prairie in re-runs with my son. Last year I purchased Melissa Gilbert's book, Prairie Tale, and this would make a nice companion novel).
- Since I would already be half way there, I think that dinner would probably be an Italian Feast in Little Italy or great Asian cuisine in Chinatown.
How about you? Where have you traveled in your virtual BEA journey?